UPDATE on “The Book” – 7 November, 2015


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Lhamo Dorje Cover

Here November arrives, 2015 rushes to a close, and 2016 is sounding like a good year to go to print (how’s that for a spin?).

I’ve decided to self-publish All About Enlightenment, and since that turn eliminates my concerns about a publisher caring whether book content resides online, I’ve also re-published several posts that I had hidden back in September.

Now I’m welcoming input, feedback, from you!

In this post I’ve shared four studies I’ve done for AAE’s cover – do you have a preference?

Before you comment, please note: As I’ve continued to edit and rearrange the book’s content, it’s surreptitiously expanded. We may now be looking at a multitude of volumes – the number 7 comes to mind. So whatever cover approach lands on the top of the pile may need to adapt to variations.

The tenacity of a Table Of Contents amazes me: as I’ve wrangled with it over the past few months, it’s sprouted a will like a dandelion forcing its way through asphalt. We decided to arrange the book along some quite Buddhist lines (maybe I’ll take the time to explain later), and gaps blinked forth like those seeds carried on the wind. The more I added, the more little voices whispered “I need to be here too”.

At this point, All About Enlightenment has sprung from it’s 120 pages in 2010 into a 700-page-and-growing behemoth. More explanation. More illustration. More examples. More connections. At times I’ve felt so overwhelmed I’ve resorted to maintaining sanity by adhering note cards to the dining room wall. And then going out for a drink.

I’m also adding content to Zazzle (if you’re not Zazzle-savvy you’ll have to wait until I’m ready to post links and then you can order t-shirts), and looking back through the hundreds of images on my hard-drive for flip-book candidates to publish on Amazon. There are a few videos I was building frame-by-frame that I hope will become lovely collections of encouraging images.

Thank you for bearing with me along this journey.

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Chakrasamvara Cover
Lhamo Dorje
Lhamo Dorje
all about enlightenment
all about enlightenment
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THE BOOK


These pages access excerpts from the preliminary content of

ALL ABOUT ENLIGHTENMENT

If you look in the Menu of the site, you will find a “tab” (page) titled “THE BOOK”. Once you arrive on that page, you will find links to each of the sections of the book, arranged “in order”. Most of the links work at this point,  but thank you in advance for letting me know if you find any broken links.

Depending on the type of browser you’re using, you may also see a drop-down in the menu, which may even more easily access the chapters and parts of chapters.

Also you can click on the sub-page links below to sample.

BECOME A MAHASIDDHA
REINCARNATION, KARMA AND MERIT
HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT
SOLVING YOUR OWN PROBLEMS
WHAT MAKES A MEANINGFUL PARTNER?
WELCOME TO YOUR DREAM WORLD

(from the book) appendix two: some methods you can try


(This post contains Appendix Two from the book All About Enlightenment. Please click here if you’d like to access the rest of the book.)

APPENDIX TWO: Some Methods You Can Try

The pages in this Appendix present material specific to the practice of Lhamo Dorje. Please feel free to use them if you feel a connection. There are no rules, restrictions or commitments involved. Please enjoy them; we hope they will provide you with relaxation and comfort.

LHAMO DORJE MANTRA

This very powerful mantra needs only to be thought in order to summon all of Lhamo Dorje’s qualities for those who wish to attain them.

Om Maha Siddha Lhamo Dorje Hum Phat (Lhamo Dorje's Mantra)
Om Maha Siddha Lhamo Dorje Hum Phat (Lhamo Dorje’s Mantra)

Om Maha Siddha Lhamo Dorje Hum Phat

The Tibetan words “Om Maha Siddha Lhamo Dorje Hum Phat” mean
“Oh Great Accomplished One, the Goddess of All Enlightenment, please just make it so.”

This sadhana was given to Leslee Hare by Heruka and Lhamo Dorje in June 2010. It is a very powerful prayer and need only be thought in order to summon all of Lhamo Dorje’s qualities for those who wish to attain Them.

LHAMO DORJE VOTIVE

(Sit comfortably and imagine yourself surrounded by Enlightened Beings.)

Lhamo Dorje appears in the center of a sphere of rainbow-colored fire.

Lhamo Dorje
Lhamo Dorje

OM MAHA SIDDHA LHAMO DORJE HUM PHAT

OM MAHA SIDDHA LHAMO DORJE HUM PHAT

OM MAHA SIDDHA LHAMO DORJE HUM PHAT

Her sphere of rainbow-colored wisdom fire blazes. Wind blows and all worlds and their beings are completely purified.

Enlightened Beings are surrounded all at once by Lhamo Dorje’s love radiating out in all directions. All beings in all worlds become Enlightened, and peace fills the three times (past present future) and the ten directions (east, south, west, north, NE, SE, SW, NW, above and below).

I dedicate all my merit to the Great Enlightenment of All Living Beings.

protectors in the shadows


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A DREAM ABOUT BEING PROTECTED FROM OURSELVES

(from Leslee)

Years ago I had a dream that I was trapped in a cave – naked and defenseless and very frightened.

I cowered in the cave while around me danced many evil demons. I knew they were going to kill me, but only after they taunted and terrified me mercilessly.

Suddenly there was a flash of light, and on the stone table in the center of the cave appeared a powerful tall dark-skinned man with dreadlocks down his back.

As soon as he appeared, most of the demons dissolved instantaneously. He jumped down from the table and pointed his staff at the remaining few demons, who then either disappeared or fled out of the cave.

When I awoke, I realized that the dream was telling me that I’d always be protected.

We all have protectors, and They shadow and care for us no matter what.

When we’re able to tune into Them, They’re able to help is even more powerfully.

This dream was also about self-grasping.

No matter how tightly we grasp, our Protector will always loosen our grips. Protectors play key roles along our Spiritual Paths, because without a Protector, we’re left to our own devices.

Only a Protector can protect us from our own delusions. Enlightened Beings show us the path; Protectors keep us from self-sabotage.

I learned this from that dream: I was paralyzed by my fear, and I also couldn’t defend myself. Now I know that all my fear comes from self-grasping, so that’s why I try to work hard to overcome my self-grasping.

I know that once I have that under control, I’ll be home free.

BOOK ONE: about this book


We’re covering new material on ‘Buddhism’ in this book, and in some ways we’re hesitant even to refer to it as ‘Buddhism’. However, the word ‘Buddhism’ (and everything associated with that word) comes closest to giving the average reader some idea of the direction we’re taking with the material we’re presenting.

Our author, Leslee Hare, is no stranger to Buddhist thought, although she considers herself far from being a scholar of Buddhist philosophy. She’s read many books on Buddhism and has studied several in detail. She’s acquainted with Dzogchen, New Kadampa, Nyingma, Ri-Mé, Tibetan and Zen, and most of her study and practice have been focused on the Vajrayana Path. She’s also studied, although in less depth, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, New Age Thought, Shamanism, Toltec Sorcery, and Yoga. As you read through this book, you’ll detect influences from many of these. That’s why, to the minds of some, we should not classify this book as Buddhist.

However, each book needs classification, and this material originates from Enlightened Beings or Buddhas, so ‘Buddhism’ fits best.

Many times throughout the history of Buddhism, practitioners have faced criticism and ridicule because they dared to tell people that they have an understanding of Buddhism which goes against the accepted norm. Some lineages and cultures accept anomalies like these, just as some minds are more open. As Westerners have accepted nominal Buddhism in its many forms, they’ve also developed particular expectations about certain forms of Buddhism.

In many popular Buddhist stories, we find adepts known as ‘Mahasiddhas’ who fit this category of following very unconventional paths to Enlightenment. History documents some of these Mahasiddhas’  lives as human beings. Some of the tales of the Mahasiddhas are considered to be mere legend, and at best, metaphors. In each case, though, there is something remarkable and unusual about the Mahasiddha’s point of view and method of practice, and they were often considered (before being recognized as Adepts) to be mad, delusional, or just eccentric by the standards of their contemporary society. Oftentimes the Mahasiddhas were not recognized until after the deaths of their ‘ordinary’ human bodies.

So the classic tales of the Mahasiddhas come to you now from across the safe distance of centuries. They have become mellowed and embellished by many years of telling and transcribing, and are often studied more as anecdotes rather than examples of a way one might actually practice Buddhism.

We’d like to propose to you that the world is ripe for a fresh round of Mahasiddha activity.

We know that there are more highly-realized beings in this world right now than there have been in many previous centuries, combined.  We know that these beings are looking for a cue – that one drop of water to land on the seed so it can germinate. This book is one of those drops of water. If you absorb the contents of this book, you may find yourself on a lightning-fast Vajra Path to a world and state of being that up until now you only imagined existed.

There are two traits that all of the Mahasiddhas had in common. They all had both immovable faith in their Spiritual Guides, and unquestionable certainty that by following their Guides’ instructions, They could – eventually – attain Enlightenment. These are the two traits which are most needed in today’s spiritual practitioner (although qualified teachers help tremendously as well), and they are rare to find in current culture. They may also prove rare to find among readers of this book, but we doubt that. We believe that if you’re reading this book, you have been drawn to it by your natural inclination to want to know the truth, and to discover it for yourself.

Actually, without these two traits, you cannot attain Enlightenment. Why? Because without them, it’s only ‘you’ trying to figure it out on your own, and if that were possible you would have done it already. No one can attain Enlightenment alone; part of the nature of your being is that you are inextricably connected to others. When you operate as if that connection does not exist, you’re denying an essential aspect and understanding of your very nature. Enlightenment is about accepting your nature, not resisting it.

We believe you may find your truth in this book, and we make all prayers that you will. We hope that you will come to believe that your own Enlightenment is possible, and also that it is imminent. Purity is hard to recognize in this world, but it does exist. True Paths seem hard to find in this world, but they beckon. If you find one grain of truth for yourself in this book, then please take it and run with it. If all you come away with is a better understanding of some good reasons not to harm others, then we’ve still done our job.

This world has entered a new age of miracles. Your ‘miracles’ may seem matter-of-fact and under-stated by comparison to those of the Mahasiddhas, because a jaded society does not entertain that kind of flamboyance with much tolerance. But your miracles’ effects will be the same: they will change minds, shift karma, and bring Enlightenment. So please continue your path with courage and confidence, and know that we abide in the wings, helping at every moment. The more you request, the more we can offer.

One more request we have is that you pray. Praying purifies karma and creates merit, but most of all it strengthens the connection you have with us. Pray for whatever you want, and we can sort out the details.

So now we leave you to dive in and ponder what you’ll find here. Thank you for reading however much you read, and for practicing however much you choose to practice. We’re very happy to have found you again, and are delighted that we could connect once more. And thank you for all your help.

~ Buddha Vajrapani and Buddha Heruka

June 2010

BOOK ONE: chapter one: introduction and beginning


Whenever one of your lifetimes ends, your body dies but your mind continues along its indestructible path.

This holds true for everyone: when we die, our minds leave our bodies.

We travel down a long and winding lane where we meet all our loved ones. We choose which of them we wish to be reborn with, and they continue with us along the lane.

No one gets left behind.

Everyone sees a lane, but our lanes usually differ. However, because we all share continua, we see best when we’re not alone.

The guides who will help us in that “next” lifetime walk the lane with us also.

Again, everyone you love meets you along the lane: even those who are already in bodies, already in your next life.

Along the lane, we may find anyone we wish to see. However, we don’t ask for others, because loved ones understand each other and don’t require permission.

Because we all connect so intimately, people attach to one another, and many people, once attached, never separate for very long.

Everyone chooses not how they will match up in this lifetime, but who they will be matched with. Karma determines how people match together, while people and places come together by choice.

Only loved ones may choose to walk together; enemies cannot walk with you. Most people actually have no true enemies, so this seldom presents an issue.

When we share choices of the same people and places, we call that ‘collective karma’. However, ‘collective karma’ does not mean that everyone shares the same experience. Collective karma means nothing other than that people share a connection.

What, or rather who, is a “person”, anyway?

Many factors come into play once we resume our walk along the lane. We meet many people, and we must decide which appeals more: questioning many knowledge-holders and prophets (which presents challenges), or following more comfortable paths?

Comfortable paths don’t hold much challenge, but can offer a respite after having lived a lifetime filled with challenges and tribulations that proved exhausting.

Each time we walk down our lanes, we choose our companions and decide where we wish to meet in our next life. We don’t choose what role they’ll play, although we may request specific roles. ‘May’, because we can only make requests if we have enough merit to be able to make them. Not everyone can make requests, because anyone may refuse a request from someone else.

We all share the walk down the lane. We do not all share the same amount of merit.

To say that you don’t have the merit means that you haven’t done enough nice things for people to want to help you. Less merit means less help; it’s that simple, and people who don’t help others don’t get help.

Now if you have merit, people will be happy to help you, and you can make requests and people will consent to grant them. If people agree to your requests, you then negotiate the terms and conditions. Others don’t have to agree to your terms and conditions just because they agree to your requests. Sometimes people simply agree to meet, and karma takes care of the rest.

Karma stores like merit. You accumulate it, and karma may ripen immediately or in the future.

Karma differs from merit in that you exercise no control over how it’s spent.

As soon as karma accumulates, it begins to increase in value, but karma’s value is not always positive.

Karma is a law of nature, just like gravity. You create karma when you perform actions, and this karma proves positive or negative, depending on your intentions.

Positive karma comes from performing an action while wishing to help others. Negative karma comes from performing an action wishing to help oneself.

We all act with a mixture of wishing to help others and wishing to help ourselves. This is part of human nature. So, all of our actions result in a mixture of positive and negative karma, and we often can’t be sure what – or how beneficial – the results will be.

Performing actions as if we were doing them to ourselves best assures that we’re creating positive karma. Although we may not be doing what people want us to do, if we follow this approach we can be sure that we’ll experience the same result as if we had done it to ourselves.

This is why Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

Now, this can get tricky; it doesn’t mean that we should go out and do only what we want to do.

If we remember that others want us to do what they want us to do, we’ll see that we actually need to do what others want us to do, as much as we can.

That is what we would want for ourselves – to have others help us. So we should help others whenever we can.

Now let’s get back to karma. When we must make hard choices, we have to choose between merit and karma.

Merit earns people help, and karma earns people good conditions; you cannot always have both.

People make choices like this every day, and many of our choices are contradictory.

No one can know for certain if their choices will give them what they want, but if you choose merit you have more control over the outcome. When you chose merit over karma, you might not get what you want, but you know that your choice will propel you in the direction of your wishes.

If you choose karma, you get help from people who can’t make any guarantees; if you choose merit and dedicate it to benefitting others, you’re guaranteed success. If you choose merit and dedicate it to benefitting yourself, you get limited material success, which eventually runs out. If you choose merit and dedicate it to benefitting others, then the merit of others is added to your own merit.

So it’s not only a smart thing to choose merit and dedicate it to others, it’s also a good thing.

We’ll keep these instructions brief, because the principles are simple and the steps are easy to follow. When you wish to help others, you’re already off to a good start. Not only do you have the best possible motivation, but you also create more merit just by generating the wish to benefit others. So you’re protected by your intention and fueled by the laws of merit and karma.

Nothing can stop you if your motivation is pure.

Long before the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, people knew about merit and karma, suffering and rebirth, and how important it is to follow good advice. These concepts are not new, but in this world people have trouble remembering them because most people have almost exhausted the last of their merit.

When you run out of merit, you can no longer take a human rebirth and walk along the lane and choose your companions. Instead you must go straight to Hell, unless you are saved by the merit of others, which they may give to you. Now, little do you know about who might have given you how much merit, or how long it will last before it runs out and you find yourself in Hell again.

This is how Jesus saves his followers, by giving them His merit.

Christians don’t call themselves Buddhists, but Jesus is a Buddha. As many have already said, the word ‘Buddha’ simply means ‘Enlightened One’. We use the word ‘Buddha’ more as an adjective than a noun, because that more accurately portrays how Enlightenment works.

If more people could meet more Buddha-like people, more people could become Buddha-like.

We have much ground to cover, so please keep reading.

BOOK ONE – chapter two: how to attain enlightenment


SIX BOUNDLESS PATHS

The instructions on how to attain Enlightenment has six parts, also known as “The Six Boundless Paths”. We consider these paths “boundless” because there are countless ways and opportunities to practice them, and they bring boundless happiness. Keep them in mind, even in their simplest version, and you cannot avoid making spiritual progress.

Path One

Once you attain Enlightenment, all your suffering ends.

When you view yourself as an Enlightened Being, even though your feelings may get hurt and you may experience physical pain, you’ve discovered happiness that is unaffected by physical conditions. Rather, your happiness affects your physical conditions.

Path Two

Someday everyone will recognize his or her own Enlightenment.

People often do things – not intending to hurt themselves – that cause themselves untold suffering.

When we go down the lane between our lives, many of us know who we want to spend our next life with: we know how to get along with those people. So most of the time, we choose to be with them again and again, because we know what to expect from them.

Oftentimes, however, the most familiar is not the most beneficial.

If we dedicate our merit to helping others, many more people will meet us along the lane, besides those we know best. Many of these people will be Enlightened Beings who want to help us, because we want to help others… because we can help Them to help others.

Eventually everyone will recognize true happiness.

Enlightened Beings teach us how to find happiness – sometimes in very surprising ways.

They can teach us how to end our suffering, but only if we meet them. If we agree to help Enlightened Beings, we gain friends for life, so to speak. So it’s a very good idea to agree to meet and help Enlightened Beings.

How do we recognize Enlightened Beings if we meet them along the lane? They make prostrations to everyone. We’ll explain more about this later; for now, this is all we need to know.

Path Three

Assume everyone is an Enlightened Being.

Enlightened Beings fill this world, and many of them seem very ordinary. They choose to appear ordinary so they can meet people and help them. When we view others as Enlightened Beings, we learn from them and generate positive karma.

When Enlightened Beings appear as ordinary beings behaving negatively, we deal with them accordingly.

Follow your heart, embrace only positive actions, and act as lovingly as you can when you defy negativity.

Path Four

Do only good things.

Focus only on your own intention. It determines everything.

Intention affects interactions with other living beings. Anything possessing life force is a living being. All living beings deserve consideration.

Once we understand that we need to avoid negative actions, many questions come to mind: What are negative actions, how do we know when we’ve committed a negative action, and how can we make amends if we have committed a negative action?

Negative actions are any actions that cause harm to other living beings.

Animals, plants, and even micro-organisms all possess life force. Humans comprise only one example of intelligent life in this World, and we need to understand that all life is sacred. Once enough people accept this principle, we’ll begin to receive friendly guests who will help many living beings understand principles which will make our lives much easier. They’re waiting, just out of sight, until we’re ready for them to join us.

If a terrorist believes that his or her mission brings happiness to the world, are his or her actions negative?

That depends on whether or not the terrorist is an Enlightened Being. No one can be sure that any of us are not Enlightened Beings, so hedge your bets and assume that everyone is an Enlightened Being. No one less holy than an Enlightened Being assumes the responsibility of deciding the fates of others, and when ordinary people assume that role, Enlightened Beings always step in to save the day. This can happen in many ways.

How do we know if an action is harmful to other living beings?

I saw a dream once of a place in which many people were preparing for war, and many people were planning to overthrow a government. I could tell that in the dream, people were being misled and controlled. The “teachers” in this place not only taught people warfare, they also taught them how to hate, even how to hate one another. Because these people were isolated, they couldn’t distinguish what they were being told from what was going on in the world outside. Now if these people were to attack and try to overthrow their government, they’d be committing very negative actions, in a number of ways.

First, they’d be acting without the slightest consideration of what others (outside their group) would want them to do. Next, they’re not Enlightened Beings, so it would be a mistake for them to take the fate of others into their own hands. Also, they would clearly harm many people.

War is always harmful, period.

Enlightened Beings cannot bear to stay in places where hatred thrives. An event such as a war generates immeasurable hatred, not only in the battlefield but also wherever war is conceived. Sometimes people feel that war-torn places have been abandoned by Holy Beings.

Enlightened Beings do not abandon places where hatred is very strong – Enlightened Beings exist everywhere.

But Enlightened Beings in Bodies need certain conditions if they’re to accomplish anything, so if their wishes are being frustrated, they simply move to a more receptive location. Other beings can then take over and use more wrathful means to accomplish their ends.

Enlightened Beings prefer less wrathful means, but sometimes circumstances necessitate hellfire and brimstone, especially if the people involved relate better to that imagery. Still, only Enlightened Beings are qualified to employ hellfire and brimstone, and that’s why we have floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and oil spills.

Interestingly enough, earthquakes are sometimes man-made. Not all earthquakes are man-made, but it’s a pastime that’s becoming increasingly popular in some circles. If someone decides to cause an earthquake, that’s very negative karma indeed, because it’s a crime against Mother Earth as well as humanity.

Path Five

All actions create karma.

Make a wish. Desire creates karma for you, because it affects your mind. You are your mind.

Suppose you wish to give to others. Now you’ve created positive karma with others. Further, if you actually do give to others, you create even stronger positive karma with everyone involved.

All actions create karma, even though not all actions affect other living beings. Some actions, such as some forms of thought, only affect the individual.

Let’s suppose that you want a slice of chocolate pie, and that’s what you’re thinking about. The simple thought of wanting a slice of chocolate pie does not create any karma, because it doesn’t affect anyone but the thinker – you.

However, let’s suppose that, instead, you think of giving a slice of chocolate pie to everyone who wants one (It does matter whether or not they want one.). Now you have still not created karma, but you have created merit for yourself. Furthermore, if you act on that wish, and do your best to give a slice of chocolate pie to everyone who wants one, you have created karma with all people who were involved, and you also created merit for yourself.

Now, if you dedicate that merit to benefitting everyone, your merit is multiplied countless times – as many times as there are living beings that need your help.

Path Six

Keep a karma maintenance plan.

A plentiful good-karma (or merit) account guarantees that we meet our needs. It also helps us enjoy conditions that continue the cycle of creating and exchanging good karma.

Your karma and merit travel with you from life to life; material things do not.

Since we need all the help we can get, we also need all the good karma we can get. Requesting help doesn’t require merit or good karma, but getting help does.

Creating positive karma merely requires a good intention and one’s mind.

Karma ripens fairly; “disabled” and “abled” people create karma equally. Disabled people are actually more likely to have merit and attain Enlightenment than others, because they likely dedicated all their merit to others.

When we help a “disabled” person, we help an Enlightened Being. If we make fun of a “disabled” person, we make fun of an Enlightened Being.

Not all Enlightened Beings appear normal. And not all normal people are Enlightened Beings.

We also need to be sure to keep our merit accounts filled, so that we never run out. We need a steady influx in case we stop being able to create more for ourselves. If we happen to take rebirth in Hell, there’s no way we can create more merit, because our minds are preoccupied with how horrible our conditions seem.

Many places and conditions in this world resemble Hell, in that sense of the word. At least many people behave as if they were in Hell.

So we need to know how to keep our merit accounts filled – not how to spend our last bit of merit on things like jewelry, money, and electronics. If we expect to enjoy a human rebirth at all, it’s not things we need, but merit. Merit and karma travel with us from life to life; things do not.

Giving is the easiest way to generate positive karma, as well as merit.

Imagining a perfect world for everyone is the easiest way to give. Buddhists sometimes refer to this as making a Mandala Offering. Even this imagined perfect world carries the power to transform because the world we experience arises from our minds.

People make mandala offerings in countless ways, and complicated versions abound. But the version we’re giving you is very simple. Mentally imagine a perfect world, and offer it to All Living Beings. That’s it. You don’t have to visualize or make anything; you just need to think it. This way you cover all the bases: you set your good intention, you practice giving, and you give to countless Beings, all of whom are Enlightened Beings. There is no better way to create merit, period.

Completing the Path

Those are all the instructions you need in order to become an Enlightened Being. If you keep collecting merit and keep the intention to help All Living Beings, it will eventually happen naturally, thanks to the laws of merit and karma.

Suggestions for Success

  • Practice as if your life depends upon it, because it does.
  • Assume that everyone you meet is an Enlightened Being, because they are.
  • Do not be discouraged.
  • Make every effort to meditate on these Teachings. ‘Meditate’ simply means to think about it.
  • Dedicate all your merit to attaining Enlightenment.

BOOK ONE – chapter three: now what?


So you’ve read about how to attain Enlightenment; now what?

Just wait and see.

BOOK TWO: becoming enlightened


SECOND PREFACE: BECOMING ENLIGHTENED IS EASY

So you’ve made it this far and you’re still with Us – that’s superb! Now We’re going to start to get into the meat of some of what We’ve only touched on so far. The following chapters make up what We’re calling Book Two, and in this part We’re going to explain some things in a little more detail.

 

If you’re a practicing Buddhist, chances are that some of what you’re going to read may contradict things you’ve been taught about Buddhism, and some things may just outright offend you.

 

If you’re offended, We apologize, because We  try to work with the inclinations of everyone, but obviously that’s not always possible. However, if you’re offended, that probably means that you already have a set of Teachings and practices that suit you just fine. If that’s the case, then that really is good news, and perhaps those are the Teachings and practices you should stick with. These are new Teachings, for a whole new crop of Buddhas that are waiting to be born. These people have been waiting for this presentation for some time now, and We have no time to lose. These people want the essential points, stated clearly and simply, and they want them at their fingertips so that they can read them and then dive in and get to work.

We also assume that you have enough sense and perceptive ability to figure out some things on your own. So please take Our sparse explanations as a compliment. We know you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t want to make a difference, and We sure don’t want to slow you down. As questions arise over time, We will likely send out more explanations and books, so please let Us know somehow (you can ask Us directly, you don’t need a translator) what more you want to know. If you are of a more scholarly persuasion, please feel free to read this book alongside ones that give more detailed, historical and academic information. This is important to many people, and We don’t wish to hinder their efforts at all.

So now, let’s begin the second leg of Our journey and lure you further down the Path to Enightenment.

BOOK TWO: chapter one: how to make progress


So, now that you have the basic instructions and some concluding advice, how do you “Practice like your life depends on it”?

What does that mean? What is ‘practice’? What is progress, anyway, and how can you tell when you’re making it? How does the average person do this on their own?

First of all, you’re not on your own.

You’re going to find that your progress has a lot (everything) to do with faith. But for most people, faith doesn’t come naturally, so this can seem like a big obstacle.

You’re caught in a dilemma.

On the one hand, you have this book telling you that you can become an Enlightened Being. But it’s also telling you that you have to have faith. And chances are that you’re immersed up to your ears in popular Western culture, which is not spiritual culture. Even if you have a natural tendency towards spirituality, staying on any kind of spiritual path seems like a constant struggle. And you’re being told that it all depends on Faith? Get real.

Don’t worry, We’re going to get Real.

Some people talk about Ffaith as if it occurs naturally or can be bestowed upon someone like a blessing. If you experience faith naturally, especially while you’re reading this book, then that’s great and you can feel free to skim ahead. Maybe you can relate to the description of the “stroll down the lane between lifetimes”, and you ‘get’ past and future lives.

That doesn’t make you any better than the person who had little faith; it just means your faith karma has ripened, so enjoy it!

Maybe you’re one of the many who just isn’t quite sure that you buy the bit about the “stroll down the lane” (it does seem a little far-fetched), and to you ‘faith’ is just another ‘F’ word. But for some uncanny reason, you’ve still made it this far through the book.

If this last description fits you, then let’s try this. Just take a moment and forget all about ‘F’ words. Even ‘Faith’… or ‘faith’… or faith. You’re going to be fine.

Just think of synchronicity.

That’s more palatable, isn’t it? Nobody’s going to get bent out of shape if you don’t have faith. Actually, you don’t even have to believe in karma and merit. If you just follow some of the advice in this book, you’ll still get there.

Forget all about Enlightened Beings floating all around you; don’t try to make yourself feel something that you don’t feel, or believe something that you don’t believe. That’s self-grasping, and that’s what you’re trying to get rid of. Just think of synchronicity.

It’s all the same. Use the word you’re most comfortable with.

Whenever you come across the word ‘faith’, try substituting the word ‘synchronicity’. If that sounds odd, then just choose another word that works better for you. Because all We are trying to talk about when We say ‘faith’ is this: sometimes things happen that you cannot explain.

It’s these synchronicities that We want you to pay attention to. They are your signs, your indications of progress (either forwards or backwards), and your encouragement. All We’re saying is give these instructions a try, and pay attention to what happens in your life. If this book works for you, then that’s great. If it doesn’t, then give it away and don’t worry about it. It’s no big deal.

That being said, We’re going to continue to use the word ‘faith’, because it’s convenient. We hope you won’t find it offensive.

Now, please go back to the beginning of this chapter. Where it says “your progress has a lot (everything) to do with faith”, feel free to substitute “your progress has a lot (everything) to do with considering that anything may be possible”, if you prefer. And so on. At some point, We just a have to choose a word to use, and in that case in particular, ‘faith’ is a lot shorter. You get the drift.

Grasping at words is a distraction.

If you get hung up on something, just try to let go and move on. Thanks for that.

So, on to progress.

What is this progress that you are trying to make? It begins with recognizing your human delusions, then proceeds with working to eliminate them (without obsessing over them). Once you begin to notice a little progress with that (just enough progress to tell you that what you are doing is working), you take your perhaps newly-found spiritual confidence and begin to do what We call ‘Putting the Result Into the Path’.

Please note this is an active verb.

It means that you try your best to act and feel as if you are already a Fully Enlightened Being.

If you understand what delusions are and how Enlightened Beings behave, and if you have this book of instructions, then you have all you need to get started. You’re welcome to read (in as much detail as you like) any of the many other Buddhist texts which list and describe the various delusions. You can also find plenty of additional information on the qualities of Enlightened Beings. But the main principles are covered in Book One, and are quite simple.

The first thing you need to do is watch for any tendencies you have that might harm other people in any way, and try to stop those behaviors. Then you try your best to put yourself in other people’s places, and do what you can to help and please them, as suggested in Book One.

As you make progress along this path, many things will change for you. Some of it will happen naturally; some of the changes you’ll need to instigate for yourself. We’ll outline some of the likely categories for you, so perhaps you can spot the changes as they arise.

If you’re prepared for what is likely to come, the changes will perhaps not seem uncomfortable.

Your changes don’t have to be drastic. Don’t worry, We’re not asking you to do anything you’re not comfortable with. Getting outside your comfort zone is entirely your choice.

We will say, however, that the more eager you are to make quick internal progress, the more changes you’ll experience in your external world as well. So that’s a choice you have to make, before you start challenging yourself to show results. For most people, real progress takes many lifetimes, because they’re very attached to their friends and family. If it’s more important for you to stay with your familiar group, then you all have to make progress together.

So, if you want both – progress and your buddies – then you need also to work on getting everyone on board.

You can begin to see why some Buddhist texts say it can take aeons to attain Enlightenment!

So, let’s assume you want a path that’s not too extreme, but you do want to make some noticeable progress in this lifetime. You’re reading and thinking and meditating as much as you can comfortably, and you’re feeling like it’s making some sense. You’re noticing little synchronicities now and then that are leading you to suspect that maybe there is something to this after all. That is an example of fantastic progress.

It may not seem dramatic, but you don’t want drama – you want progress.

It doesn’t matter if you choose the quiet stream or the raging current. They both reach the same destination.

If your taste is more for the raging current, then We suggest you strap yourself in and get very clear on your priorities, because it’s challenging to ride the raging current if you’re loaded with a backpack full of expectations.

You won’t drown, but you might lose your backpack when your kayak flips over. We just want to make sure We’re very clear on this. The Raging Current is a serious undertaking, and if We sense you are taking it in a flippant manner, We’ll obstruct your progress in order to protect you and others.

Sincerity is a prerequisite.

Now that We’ve covered that, let’s talk about physical and energetic body changes. As you make spiritual progress, your body becomes more pure. It doesn’t become weaker, but it does become more sensitive to certain things. Noisy places, crowds of unfamiliar people, and ‘normal’ food can become great irritants to your energetic body.

Some meditations can help alleviate energetic imbalances, and We’ll give these to you in an appendix. In many cases, a good night’s sleep can set things right, but the meditations are very useful if sleeping is not convenient.

We can’t really predict exactly what changes and challenges you’re likely to face as you make progress, because there are so many variables. What happens depends on your karma, your merit, how fast and intensely you want to progress, and your own particular blend of delusions. All of these are different for every person.

We can tell you that in general, the external changes will tend to lead you to better conditions for making progress.

It helps to keep an open mind, because oftentimes what you think will help you is not really what’s best for your spiritual realizations.

That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for synchronicities. Sometimes the smallest clues are cues for us, signaling that it’s time for something different. Following serendipity can be quite blissful, despite the uncertainty.

We can also tell you that not all ‘setbacks’ are really setbacks, and we mean that both externally and internally.

Of all the times when you feel like you’re not making progress, the hardest can be when you’re working on your self-grasping. The tricky thing is that most of the time when it’s there, you don’t notice it. Then when it’s not there you don’t notice it. But when you’re actually working on it and getting somewhere, it feels like you’re one big grasping ball of angst. So it’s very hard not to get discouraged.

You go through a round of progress, then all is quiet for a while… and then you get hit with it again, just when you thought you’d conquered it. You realize you’re still grasping at all the things you think you are… and what you’re doing… and what you should be doing… and you’re even grasping at how many delusions you still have…

So please listen closely to this: All you are is a collection of aggregates or attributes.

And if you dissect it carefully, each moment there is a different set of attributes. And each attribute is constantly changing… just like your mood or your location in the universe. And there’s nothing you can do about it. You’re trying so hard to control it, define it, explain it. But it’s a moving target. No wonder you give up and give in so often.

Here’s the solution: Try letting go instead of grasping. Try letting go instead of giving in.

If you let go, you’re not going to dissolve into nothingness. Your mind is not going to leave your body and forget to return. You may experience some realization of Emptiness, but that’s a good thing. Emptiness is not going to devour your world. It’s going to make your world blissful.

You may forget who you are at the moment, but your body will figure it out. You may forget what you were doing for the moment. Why do you think it’s called absent-mindedness?

Because for a moment your mind let go. And it enjoyed it…

But your self-grasping freaked out, and now it’s trying to convince you that if you keep messing around, you’ll go crazy.

But there’s no ‘you’ to go crazy.

Ceasing self-grasping will not cause you to lose your mind. It will cause you to lose your delusions. And delusions tend to have a bit of a mind of their own, so of course they don’t want to be put out of commission.

If you really want to put your Inner Gangster to work, turn it loose on your grasping at your ‘Self’. Let it tear it to shreds until there’s nothing left. You must lose your ‘Self’ in order to discover the true nature of your mind. Your mind is the only real ‘you’, and it’s also Empty. Beyond that, there are some things that you just need to learn on your own.

Wait. What did We mean by “also Empty”?

That’s right. We’ve talked about grasping, but We haven’t really talked about Emptiness yet. An understanding of Emptiness is good armor, and you may need some of that… especially if you ever decide to try the Raging Current once in a while. So please join Us in the Emptiness of Chapter Two, as We invite you into ‘Our’ world…