Wheels and Worlds


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Lately I’ve been fascinated by the Earth Wisdom (Native American) Medicine Wheel. I’m digging in to find connections between it and Heruka’s mandala (Chakrasamvara), and this sketch represents my thoughts in progress. I feel countless layers interlacing about that Center Point, worlds beyond the ones we know…

The colors of the Medicine Wheel moons, paths, etc. borrow inspiration from the crystal Medicine Wheel created by the wonderful folks at Crystal Vaults, based on the book by Sun Bear. Perhaps I can take this into a 3D rendering someday, but for now the charteuse/magenta tilted axis (slightly NNE & SSW) represents beings and energies above and below the surface of the Earth.

Here’s the link to Crystal Vaults’ image of the wheel they offer in their kit: http://crystalvaults.com/medicine-wheel-guide/native-american-medicine-wheel. They also publish an online guide that I imagine several of my friends will enjoy.

Thus continues my yearning to integrate wisdom available from all our cultures here on Earth and beyond. I’m still spinning in that state of fascination and rearranging, not yet having arrived at a place anywhere near reaching insights or conclusions.

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THREE-PART MEDITATION


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Saturday, 15 March 2014

Inspired by Dreamwalker’s post on of Sogyal Rinpoche’s meditation advice (see Spirit Train Chronicles here), I did a 3-part meditation that I found quite fascinating. I’ll continue to use this technique for a while and see what kind of results I get. If you try it too, I’d love to hear about your experiences here, if you care to share them.

Sogyal mentions value in taking breaks during meditation. Short ones that only last a minute or so… and then we resume our meditation.

This prompted the idea of doing three ten-minute meditations, with a one minute break in between. And for each segment, I took a slightly different focus. To me they feel like a progression, so I enjoyed the sense of going deeper during each segment, and finding continuity within the 32-minute exercise.

Each segment features a variation of mindfulness or vipassana meditation, and the object that’s being watched is an aspect of the mind.

As I contemplate how this world, life, emotions, thoughts, experiences all arise from mind, I like to wonder (or remember) how much of it depends on relating to it all through the filter of a mind that currently appears attached to a body also seems attached to a world. How much does our body affect our mind?

Last night, for instance, as I was falling asleep I was wondering: If we did not grasp at our bodies and panic at the thought of leaving them, how would that affect how we interpret the phenomena we experience every day? In a way, that’s the goal of the Yoga of Sleep: to practice dying so that when that time comes for us, we don’t panic, but choose where we propel our minds as we leave our bodies.

So I think this 3-segment meditation idea offers a way to step through different levels of consciousness, adding to our kit of tools for moving through life.

Here’s what came to me to try:

  1. In the first segment, I did a physical body scan, noticing what sensations arose from inhabiting a body.

The mind that is connected to, bound with at this moment, a particular body, observes what arises to the mind as a result. Remembering what it “feels” like to be body-less (physically, at least), what is the difference? How heavy does it feel where it’s sitting? What does the hair (or lack of it) feel like, covering the head? How does the breath feel passing through the nostrils, the throat and into the lungs? Can I feel my breath in my lungs? Does my skin itch? If it’s not itching, can it be felt? Can I feel it holding everything together? Can I feel my pulse resonating through my torso and limbs?

And what do I hear? Eyes closed… What do I smell?

Dispassionate observation, keeping the mind moving rather than becoming distracted by hunger, stiff joints or wanting another sip of coffee (OMG, you drink coffee while meditating!?!?). Pretending I’m watching someone else’s body – not taking it personally. Hmmm… so that’s what it’s like…

Then, in my 1-minute break, I got my sip of coffee. Fantastic! How did that feel going down? And taste…? Like Sogyal Rinpoche implied, here’s another opportunity to carry the meditation observation forward. Turn on the computer; it’s got 10 minutes to start up. Restarting the connection to “out there”…

  1. In the second segment, I did an energy body scan, taking the 10 minutes to observe what appeared energetically, compared to the gross physical sensations.

This was tricky for me, because I’ve always felt quite self-conscious about detecting my chakras and meridians. Maybe I haven’t spent enough time on this kind of meditation to be able to distinguish them clearly. Where others describe wheels and flowers and spinning at the main chakras, I tend to get imagery and sensations that feel more like a bustling city, a deep ocean, a placid meadow, or an atomic bomb going off. This morning my left arm’s main meridian felt like a flat wide ribbon of many-colored bands, almost like ribbon-candy, streaming with flashes and currents of life. It was kind of cool, but I was a little distracted by looking for something more conventional.

But I’ll just let that go, and ride the ribbon-candy highway. I’ve about decided my anatomy’s not really human after all (she says humorously), so who knows, maybe it was a valid image…

Second break: more coffee, start up my programs on the laptop. Taking things in gradual steps seems to be a nice theme lately.

  1. In the third segment, I went searching for the Guides I connect with, and other “entities” I have come across at times. Where do they reside within my mind?

I tend to describe these energies, awarenesses, personalities that as being somewhat, somehow, separate from myself in terms of this world, body, space and time. I prefer to attribute them this way because it helps me organize, you might say. I carry a recognition that Heruka’s mind and mine share a lot of “space”, but it’s easier for me to hear His “words” as “His”, so that I’m not caught up in editing them as they arrive. If I thought they were mine, my goodness I don’t think I would ever post anything.

However, I often use a pendulum when I’m connecting. It acts as a filter to help me tune out the other (sometimes riff-raff) that also pops up from time to time.

This morning was the first time I’ve gone “looking” for Heruka by just sitting in meditation. I was also inviting whoever else wanted to show up – within reason. I didn’t want to receive information or ask questions – I just wanted to sit with “them”, perhaps get a new kind of glimpse or insight. Again, looking for that dispassionate observation. Just watch, without getting swept away into words or imagery. I wanted to notice how they arose.

This segment went very differently than the other two. It seemed there was nothing to hold onto, to identify and follow. I could sense lots of different “presences”, just sort of drifting around, but no clear “object” appeared (at least not in a conventional sense). In a way, that made this segment the most compelling of all; I feel left with a challenge, and I really want to get to the bottom of it.

When I arose from the meditations, I found that they stayed with me throughout the day more than my meditations usually do. I tend to attribute that to my being more personally curious about the objects than thinking there’s anything coming out of the meditation per se. But perhaps that’s all the same thing…

Postscript: Tuesday has arrived. I’ve tried this technique twice more, and find that it’s different each time. So for now, it feels like a nice journey to embark upon, at least for a little while. I’m still getting some very unusual perceptions whenever I’m looking for how things appear, especially my Guides.

I’m also noticing how much I presume about sensations and perceptions, based on what I’ve read about or learned in school. I’m using this technique to explore more of what it might be like to just land in a world and a body without acclimation, and try to detect, for instance, how the sound of what I consider to be the call of a bird, becomes just that, rather than random data flowing into the brain through the senses.

Mind is still a mystery. Thank goodness.

MAHAMUDRA AND THE CLEAR LIGHT


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FROM SUBURBIA TO ENLIGHTENMENT

(from Teo’Na)

Spending time in American suburbia might lead one to believe that the Train to Enlightenment left the station some time ago.

When you feel surrounded by dried-up tumbleweeds and buildings that look twice as big as they need to be, you might feel tempted to sit on the porch and scowl at strangers as they pass by.

If the gunslingers had gone inside to meditate first, I wonder if they would have come back outside and shot each other up in the middle of town…

We bring you glad tidings: it IS possible to overcome delusions, escape the bulls**t, and accomplish full, permanent, complete Enlightenment, here and now.

It’s just not always as fun and exciting as sitting in a chair playing first-person-shooters… Are you willing?

GALACTIC RANT: JUST PRACTICE.


I’d like to expound upon the message at this link:

http://galacticchannelings.com/english/please-help-us.html

from Galactic Channelings website

I’ll preface this by explaining that for the past several months, my previously Buddhist-Renegade-“Self” has stumbled into the world of a faith that expands the concepts of “Buddha” and “Enlightened Being” to boundaries far beyond my home, or even Tibet, for that matter…

Yes, I’ve become an amateur UFO-logist. ET-errorist (I made that one up – it’s kinda catchy, humorous, and ironic, I think…)

Maybe it sounds wacky. But I promised Heruka and Lhamo Dorje that I’d do whatever They wanted, to help people in this world find Enlightenment. And this is what They asked…

[Besides, back in October 2011, I saw a ship much like the one in the lower left corner above… It silently buzzed Emory Village in Atlanta at dusk. And its corner lights were red and green. It banked hard right, just above the trees, and was gone in a flash. Scout’s honor. Totally freaked me out. (Why me, Guys? Please explain it one more time…?)]

Now  They’ve really pushed me out of my comfort zone, into a field full of crop circles, and commutes so filled with taking pics of clouds that my poor son is about ready to duck out of view when he’s with me…

http://spirittrainchronicles.com/

I’ve been amazed at some of the synchronicities I’ve experienced with my friends on Spirit Train Chronicles, especially through dreaming, and between what I’ve been calling “Enlightenment” and what many others call “Ascension”.

Among Galactic circles, there’s a lot of hubbub going on, because there are countless rumors of friendly ETs “arriving soon” (in any variety of manners) to make things in this world alright.

Today, a friend shared the article/entreaty that you’ll find if you follow the first link in this post (this one).

I read it, and scratched my head a bit. I checked in with my Guides, and They said, “Yes, write up what you’re thinking, but Leslee (Namkhyen… you know, you used to be a nun and all…), please try to be nice about it, okay?”

So I’m going to give my best shot at “right speech” about what I find to be a puzzling predicament among galactic circles…

A “Buddhist” View on Ascension and Disclosure

Okay. A large number of people wish to ask our inter-galactic friends to “HELP”. Whatever that means…

I think it’s important to consider what kind of help we’re requesting. I personally do NOT support asking the Galactic Federation of Light to come down and deliver us, because I think that goes contrary to their intent AND our best interests.

The GFL actually does have a magic wand that can bless every mind with deep understanding and unconditional love… But each individual must ask for these blessings of wisdom and bliss in their own heart and mind.

Just like in Buddhism.

I know this is true, because I know there are Buddhas in the Galactic Federation of Light. (Did I just lose you, there?)

Instead of asking for “HELP”, we could pray for ourselves and every being on this planet, to be blessed with inspiration and insight… to be led by their hearts to realize their own best purpose in this life… in this world… as quickly as possible… for the benefit of all.

And we can fervently wish for as many as possible to join us in this prayer, so that it may quickly manifest.

Once that prayer is answered, then it would be more appropriate to ask for the GFL to ramp up their presence.

Because I believe (and I sure hope I’m wrong…) that most of humanity is not ready for the GFL – or any other party of deliverance – to actually appear and make changes.

Let’s think it through just a little: Let’s suppose “they” landed today. Let’s say that the “cabal” gets “disapparated”, money gets distributed, weapons vaporized, everyone fed and sheltered comfortably. We won’t even need money, because everyone would receive a device that would cause whatever they wished to appear… Oh, instantaneously.

Sounds cool.

Now, think of your neighbors, your family, your co-workers, the person next to you on the train, the bus, the plane, or in traffic…

They would all now have great physical comfort.

But they still have they same pre-Deliverance minds and emotions, especially once the euphoria wears off.

Why would the euphoria wear off?

Because no one’s done anything about their freakin’ minds…. Geez!

(Ok, ok, I’m calm, I’m calm… right speech, right mind, mind of unconditional love…)

Many people in this world still appear to understand the world through the lens of duality. If someone were to say, “Wow, things are so much better now than they were!” – That’s a dualistic view.

But maybe that’s just my incorrect view of others.

The GFL already helps us with a proliferation of messages and information about what WE need to be doing in order to prepare for the GFL’s arrival. We have all the instructions we need; the GFL is doing all it can for now.

Just like the Buddhas.

Some tend to perceive the world as filled with good and evil, light and dark… We think something in the external needs to change in order to bring peace to the world. We think power needs to be balanced… More dualism.

Our galactic friends have tried to hint at it politely. They learned from Jesus’ story that presentation is everything. So I’ll take on the task of stating it plainly, if painfully:

Unless we all meditate, attune, train, uplift our minds… whatever you want to call it… For Ourselves… We’re not going anywhere, and the Galactics aren’t landing, transporting, disclosing, replicating, rejuvenating, teleporting, or any of that other warm, fuzzy stuff.

Sorry.

Back to thinking it through. Remember those friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.? If their minds haven’t improved, why should “they” (WE) behave any differently than before?

Do we really believe that the ONLY reason we kill and harm one another is because we don’t have all the external conditions we wish for? DO we really believe that if we were all “comfortable”, we would love one another unconditionally?

Aren’t “the cabal” the ones who are most comfortable? (according to the dualistic theory…)

We think that if we were like the cabal, the world would be blissful?

Someone please help me with my logic, here.

Until I understand how all that will work out in everyone’s favor, I’ll take this a step further: Pretend all the GFL stuff is in place, just like we asked. And we acknowledge that not everyone had worked on their minds and hearts, so there are still some “unascended” people on the planet.

Well, they would most likely be the trouble-makers, right?

So, if we want a “perfect” world, we can just ask the GFL to please remove the offenders, to be “recycled” into the Great Central Sun, from where they can begin their evolutionary cycle anew.

Sounds like getting sent to the Seventh Hot Hell and then being reborn as an ant or a virus…

The criteria for being recycled would, I imagine, involve not having worked to improved one’s powers of concentration and loving-kindness… something similar. And not having accomplished an ascended, enlightened mind.

Based on how things appear to whose mind, by the way?

My son doesn’t meditate. He got kinda burned out on Dharma by being dragged to prayers when he was small. He gets bullied and teased at school, so he perhaps harbors a few fantasies of retaliation…

He might not pass muster.

Nor might some of my friends and family.

Nor might I.

I’d really rather not send my son and myself off to the Seventh Hot Hell, thank you.

So I think I’ll just keep asking for help with working on my own heart and mind. And keep trying, as challenging as it may be, to understand that I’m certainly not perfect, either. But I’m sufficient. Just like everyone else.

Therefore, we’re all perfect.

I’ll keep trying to find examples that demonstrate how we are all One.

I’ll keep looking for Source and my Guru in all phenomena.

I’ll keep trying to tame my mind, so that I don’t continue to dive into a cycle of pain and disappointment.

Buddha said, “You must know suffering.”

He didn’t say we have to abide in it.

I think with all of that, I have plenty to keep myself busy.

And as long as I’m busy, I’ll be happy for the GFL to come whenever they see fit. Because it may take me a while yet, to realize that what I think is suffering… Is really uncontaminated Bliss and Emptiness

I have a feeling that will happen when enough of us understand that we’re just dreamers, dreaming the dream. The top is still spinning, and we’ll wake up when we’re ready…

Not when the GFL lands.

And the clock ticks on….

DREAM: HOW IT ALL TIES TOGETHER


Dream with Explanation by Heruka
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I appear in the dream as if in an Middle-Eastern-looking city that’s familiar to me. A bossy old woman and a young multi-racial girl accompany me, and it seems as if it’s a sort of home-coming.

First I visit a tiny apartment in a dusty, hot, sand-colored worker district. I go from room to room, seeing how the place has changed… I close the window blinds for privacy from the nosy neighbors, and check on a little girl & a crawling baby to see how they are getting along… The place is messy, but I’ve been very busy.

I tell them I’m sorry I’ve been away and left my dear friends neglected… and they are like my children, too… I’m a man who has been away working… Their mother is dead, and the babysitter needs help…

The dream shifts…

Now I’m in an older Eastern-European city, approaching a large mansion (this is the same mansion I dreamed about twice within the last week or so). I’m still with the bossy old woman and now a little boy, but now I’m female, and apparently I’m “Leslee” again…

Once again I’m going from room to room, seeing what’s changed… I have so many memories of being small, growing up here… Why did I ever leave?

Oh… I wanted to get away and help others, and also I was bored… I knew I could come back, but I didn’t intend to be away for so long…

(Now, as I’m typing the dream, I can feel Heruka’s presence… And He shows me that the intimidating gray-haired man in earlier dream was ME: before I went into the dream of Leslee’s life… That’s why I needed to hide from him in that dream!)

I wander through old rooms, it’s a long time since I visited… There is an upper-floor room filled with reminders of experiences in other lifetimes: China, Tibet, Meso-America, North America, Egypt…

…Frozen lands, desert lands, forest lands… Lifetimes as animals, people, spirits… Lifetimes filled with power and weakness… Lifetimes spent alone and with large families, isolated and with large communities…

I fondly dust off some of the items (small carved jade Buddhas) and say my temporary good-byes again, as I prepare to leave this place once more…

In this dream, now I am the gray-haired man again, rising briefly from the dream that is Leslee’s life, to pay a visit, and to remind myself and others…

This is why Leslee’s in no hurry to go back to being the gray-haired man. That life in Telos is not what I want either, except in that life I’m wealthy and have comfortable conditions (except for the bossy lady)…

Sometimes we need to learn to set boundaries and hold fast to our aspirations in Telos, too, just like here on (surface) Earth…

In Telos there is beautiful architecture and streets of beautiful stone, lined with trees and old houses, filled with gentle people…

I’m remembering I come from a Telosian family with expectations and responsibilities… Even as leaders in a “perfect” society, we must perform roles that may become boring and tedious…

(The dream fades, and Heruka explains further, once I’m awake:)

Ascending beyond the body is the only way to escape this cycle of frustration and confusion, so we have all, at various times, agreed to try to tolerate that… Until enough of us finally agree to awaken from the dream that is Gaia (Telosian, Agarthan, or otherwise…)

Once we awaken from that dream, we will all be of the Light once more, and can rest and reflect and commune lovingly and openly again…

Once the massive shift comes, each of us will be able to decide whether we wish to begin a new series of dreams in a new world, or whether we wish to return into the light for a “while”…

There is nothing to fear because it is all truly illusory…

Our bodies and this world are a fantastic creation that we have all participated in… We have done a magnificent job of playing out our roles…

Many of us are tired of the dream, but many are still enjoying it and want to see the final outcome of the illusory “battle” between “Good” and “Evil”…

Enough of us have reached the point of exhaustion that we are about to be granted a pause in the dream… During this pause, those who wish to return to the Light will have that opportunity, and those who wish to continue to play, will be provided that option…

The re-set Game will begin once again, with a level playing field and equanimity of roles…

These days are the times in which each of us is making our own decisions about what we wish to “do” next.

the ways we create bodies and worlds


(from Heruka, Lhamo Dorje, Manjushri)

Bodies act as filters. The brain filters the information received by the body. It also integrates input from the mind with the physical input.

The pure and absolute mind existing in this world inhabits an etherous state, maintaining an awareness appropriate for this world, specifically. In a refined condition, the mind may travel freely, regardless of the position or state of the body.

This world manifests from the wishes of Enlightened Beings and gods; yet most of the Enlightened Beings in this world experience a very deep and pervasive amnesia regarding how their world, bodies, and experiences generate from their minds.

The ultimate mind operates independently of any constraints produced by time, bodies, or worlds. It is not confined by ether or other physical boundaries, including those established by worlds.

Defining worlds allows the mind to begin to individualize itself, and the interplay of yin and yang, light and dark, yes and no, attraction and repulsion all manifest the boredom of the individual mind. Opposites keep a world balanced and in manifestation, and all aspects and components of this interplay are completely devoid of inherent existence. They only exist in relation to and in dependence upon one another, and if, within a world, conflict, perceived difference and distinction cease to exist, then that world also ceases to exist.

Worlds truly function to provide stages and sets within which the mind manifests bodies engaged as actors. And all the actors arise from a vast web of mind that extends far beyond discrete worlds.

Bodies act as filters, emphasizing the variety of qualities that provide interest to the play.

Bodies can then be used to manifest a constructed physical world.

From the hierarchical level of World, to Body, to Construction, the Pure and Absolute Mind becomes more deeply shrouded in the illusion of manifestation.

The stronger the illusion of manifestation, the less likely the object will be to inspire wonder and awe.

This is illustrated by a familiar understanding. Mankind is easily rendered speechless and judgmental before images of the “universe” that “exists out there”. Mankind generally reveres life forms, and sometimes experiences awe at the concept of birth. But at the body level, we begin to form opinions and judge, thereby lessening our sense of awe. We tend to view constructed objects as disposable and completely subjective, and we even imagine ourselves as the creators (as individuals, races, nations) of these objects. We also imagine that having “created” something – whether it be languages, machinery, or a building, – entitles us to use these devices at whim. Our whims and opinions and how we use the world to institute them generate the driving force of our world.

What we call “creation” is really “creative force”.

BOOK TWO: chapter two: why are there two of us?


(parts of this chapter were posted previously, here, here, and here)

All About Emptiness…

(from Heruka Chakrasamvara)

A Buddhist Example

We can find many examples we can use to contemplate Emptiness… a book, our laundry… This example comes from traditional Tibetan Buddhist iconography.

Some Vajrayana Buddhist lineages include the prayer practice of the deity Heruka Chakrasamvara.

This ‘entity’, often depicted in statues or paintings, represents an Enlightened Being with two components: Heruka and Vajravarahi; man and woman; bliss and emptiness. The appearance is of a male and a female in union, and in Tibetan Buddhism they usually also includes numerous implements, limbs, and ornaments that raise many eyebrows among Westerners.

The image intends to represent an abstract concept: Enlightenment. The inseparable union of bliss and emptiness. When looking at a statue, especially, one can easily perceive the appearance of two people… having sex.

In truth, Chakrasamvara merely represents a Oneness that is almost impossible to communicate in conventional terms.

Trying to gain an understanding of this idea offers a great opportunity to gain an understanding of Emptiness.

Human beings like to break things down into manageable chunks. Chunks of land; chunks of food; chunks of meaning.

You could say that Chakrasamvara is two chunks of one Enlightened Being.

This view works pretty well, because humans also seem to think that happiness and its object are separate. Bliss and Emptiness can easily be confused as two separate realizations.

Cast metal statues of Chakrasamvara depict this union particularly well: such a statue appears to depict two figures, but it’s one chunk of Enlightened metal. Look closely; you can’t find where Heruka ends and Vajravarahi begins.

They’re inseparable. That’s why they’re always depicted in union. You can try to give them two bodies, but you really can’t tear them apart.

Philosophers often describe this world as a duality. Humans tend to categorize… the world more or less requires it.

We make sense of it best when we put things into dual categories: either/or… good/bad… right/wrong… rich/poor… male/female, etc.

Like language and naming things, categories function to allow people to communicate in meaningful ways. It’s all very clever… it’s all construct.

Consider this: if people did not feel they were separate from one another, would they need to “communicate”?

Bliss arises when we overcome this sense of separation.

God(s) did create this world of duality. Then God(s) put man in it and encouraged him to name things. And thus, separation – and thereby duality – was born. God(s) also took things a step further and created woman. More duality.

Men and women seem to come together, but inevitably they appear to separate again. More duality. On it continues: people have children. Children turn into adults. Adults form groups, clubs, nations. All of these are nothing more than methods of distinction, devices humans use to group things together and tell things apart.

That’s how this world has worked for eons.

God(s) created the world, and the rules. This world wants you to believe that you have to follow the rules to get by.

But you want to do more than get by, don’t you? The secret is that you will only truly thrive, while you’re in this world, once you begin to view it as the construct that it is. Then you can start to bend the rules and even have a little fun… until you finally step out.

I say ‘bend the rules’ because you do have to observe them as long as you’re here. Even for Enlightened Beings who have emanated here, their emanations still speak, grow older, and submit to the effects of gravity in order to function here. At least most of them do. It’s just more convenient that way.

Once you figure it out and have had enough, you can get out of this place and never come back, if that’s your wish.

This place is tough. The rules are demanding, and the veils are many. It’s not the most pleasant place to be born or emanated into. It’s like boot camp, though: once you get out, you are ready to take on anything.

So, Chakrasamvara seems to represent two (somewhat) recognizable beings because if Enlightened Beings appear in forms that are familiar to humans, they get our attention. Chakrasamvara wants your full attention, so Chakrasamvara also shows you sex.

Please keep in mind that everything in this world also has a dual way of existing: its conventional reality, and its ultimate reality.

Conventional reality is the way you view things in order to get by in this world and communicate with others; it adheres to the construct. Ultimate reality is the way all things actually exist: Emptiness. All things are empty of independent existence.

An Everyday Example Of A Book

A book offers a more familiar example of Emptiness (than the example of the statue).

Let’s suppose that as you’re reading this you’re holding a printed book. The ‘printed book’ (in quotations, in case you’re listening to the book or it’s a digital copy) is the conventional reality of your object of experience.

You think of it as, and call it, a ‘printed book’ in case you need to tell someone else about it.

Now, this conventional reality of the printed book also has a subtle version, which is made up of the parts of the book: the pages, the cover, the glue or stitching, the ink printed onto the pages to form the words that you then read… and the book has also become part of your mind. Cool, huh?

What is the Emptiness of the book, its ultimate reality? The Emptiness of the book is that the book does not exist independently, by itself.

No matter how hard you look, you will not find a book that is constant, unchanging.

Something appears of in front of you that looks like a book; you call it a book, and others would recognize it as a book, so it functions as a book. But the book is made of matter that is made of molecules that are made of atoms that are mostly space. Also, when you hand that book to someone, some molecules of the cover ink will stay on your hand.

And the person who takes the book from you also picks up some molecules, maybe of a page as they flip through the book. Now suppose the book passes on to twenty more people, and over time it becomes quite worn because it’s lost so many molecules to so many hands. And those hands have long since been washed…

So where IS the book?

Conventionally, it still exists somewhere, hopefully not in a landfill. Ultimately, it remains as empty before. The main difference is that your mind has moved towards freedom.

An Everyday Example Of Laundry

I’ll give you another example of Emptiness, one you can remember often. This is important, because grasping Emptiness often eludes us (pun intended). It helps to find regular reminders, and come up with your own examples.

Let’s assume you have a plaid cotton shirt. Let’s say it’s your favorite shirt, so you wear it often. Your friends know it’s your favorite, and everyone else knows it’s a shirt, and many of those people might know it’s made of cotton.

You can’t bear the thought that someday that cotton shirt will become so worn that you’ll discard it. But every time you put it on, it leaves a little lint on your body. And if you sweat on it, a little of your body gets left on the shirt.

So then, is it still your favorite plaid cotton shirt?

Or is it you and your favorite plaid cotton shirt?

Or is it just empty?

Let’s say you sweat on the shirt enough that you decide it needs cleaning. You put it in the laundry, where it loses more lint, and gains water and detergent and fragrance. Where is the shirt now? Now let’s say you put it through the dryer, and when it’s done, you retrieve what still functions as your favorite plaid cotton shirt, and you go on to wear it again and again.

But, as you clean the dryer lint screen, you notice that the lint is the same color as your shirt. Ultimately, where is the favorite plaid cotton shirt that until now existed independently of everything else?

It cannot be found, and never truly existed.

Now you can think of Emptiness every time you do your laundry, or put on your favorite shirt.

Whenever something troubles you, try to think of ways in which it is Empty. Maybe it’s your boss, or bad traffic (try to find the car that started the bad traffic and you’ll find the Emptiness of the bad traffic), or the weather, or your partner (or lack of partner).

You can use everything as an example, because everything is Empty. Start by indentifying the object. Then try to find its parts. Then try to find the parts of the parts. Take it all the way down to the molecules and atoms, if you like.

But please remember that even images of electrons are conventions, representations…

Please also do take breaks. Don’t exhaust yourself through contemplating Emptiness. Go out and enjoy yourself. Then, when you are ready for your next round of Emptiness contemplation, reflect on what you enjoyed.

Try to find a single form of pleasure that exists by itself and separately from everything else. If it’s separate, what is it separate from?

As you accustom yourself to looking at and for Emptiness, it will become familiar to you, so that the looking won’t seem exhausting. Eventually it will become a constant state of awareness, and you will have realized Emptiness.

The Great Bliss comes as you start to notice Emptiness in everything. You may feel like a kid in a candy shop when this starts to happen.

Whether you burst out giggling is entirely up to you…

It’s also up to you whether you remember the rules of convention, and whether or not you’re still interested in following them.

So now you know why there appear to be two of Us – it gives Us something to talk with you about. Please enjoy all your meditations on Emptiness, and try to think of Us often.

BOOK TWO: chapter three: reducing grasping


[From Buddhas Heruka and Vajravarahi]

What is grasping?

Grasping is not letting go. It’s that simple. It’s holding on tightly to how you think things are, and/or how you want them to be.

It can show itself in things as wide-ranging as racial profiling, conspiracy theories, and seasonal depression. It can cause marriages, and it can ruin marriages. It can raise nations, and bring Them to their knees. It is the most powerful delusion besides anger…

It also causes both anger and fear.

You can tell when you’re grasping: you might get a pit in your stomach, or a leap in your heart, or hear a startling sound or gets depressed when you’re stressed. Pretty scary, eh? People don’t always realize it when they’re grasping.

If you remember nothing else from this section, please remember that all your fears come from self-grasping. Self-grasping is grasping at a loose collection of attributes that you name ‘myself’ or ‘I’.

You are as Empty as your favorite plaid cotton shirt. 

BOOK TWO: chapter nine: the nature and meaning of dreams and visions (part 2)


PART TWO: Biding Your Time

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[from Buddhas Heruka, Manjushri, and Naropa]

As you meditate your way to Enlightenment, you’ll attain a state of mental concentration called Samadhi,  ‘Tranquil Abiding’, or simply ‘Abiding’.

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Many consider this a level of high attainment; the fact is, you really need to get there before you can go anywhere else.

Abiding is the state at which you first really have some control over your mind. Up until then you may always be able to bring your mind back to your object when it wanders, but it still does wander.

Once you arrive at the point of tranquil abiding, your mind is content to stay on its object without getting distracted.

This then frees your mind to get on with its virtuous object/subject of meditation/focus.

You may be wondering why We’re talking about meditation in a chapter on dreaming and visioning. Tranquil abiding, dreaming and visioning share many characteristics. They all require a mind that focuses singularly on its object of concentration.

In meditating, you choose a virtuous object, say ‘Compassion’. Once you get your mind focused onto compassion, you then do a very special kind of wandering in which you explore all the nooks and crannies and ins and outs of compassion, never straying from the boundaries of that concept until you’re done with that meditation (for the time being).

When you’re dreaming and visioning, your mind also stays within certain boundaries – those of your dream or vision world.

For most people, dreams flicker past rapidly. You slip into your dream world for just a moment, until some mental distraction (usually another dream incident) whisks you away. You’re not even able to ‘keep your place’ within the dream world, much less exert any control over it.

The same holds true for visioning: you might catch a fleeting glimpse of something, but then it’s gone before you can really inspect it and make some use of it. As you develop steadier concentration, you’re better able to follow, and later control, your object, dream or vision. Once you reach this point, these activities become much more productive for you.

Now, when We say “productive” We certainly don’t mean to take a work-horse attitude about these activities which may actually give you a lot of pleasure.

You can use meditation, dreams and visions to reach your goals and make your life more enjoyable.

Having an unpleasant experience while meditating, dreaming or visioning results from your karma. If you know how to dream actively (not passively) then ‘nightmares’ might not disturb you, and you’ll still be eager to get on to your next dream. However, if you treat dreaming as work… Well, you know what’s likely to happen. Similarly for meditating and visioning: you want to set yourself up to reap benefits, not discouragement.

So, how do you reach the point of Tranquil Abiding in meditation, so that it can sharpen all of your mental activity?

With a lot of patience.

How to you keep your patience? By not taking on more than you can handle. How do you know how much you can handle? By trying something new, and watching to see how your mind reacts.

For example, if you sit to meditate for twenty minutes and afterwards find that you feel tired, discouraged or irritable, or you experience any other negative emotion, then try only fifteen minutes the next time.

Please note: feeling tired and falling asleep are not the same thing.

Sometimes when you dream or vision, the mind relaxes more quickly than you can keep up with and follow while remaining conscious. When this happens, it’s not wasted effort; it’s just that you’re not training as actively as when you are conscious.

So keep adjusting your time spent practicing until you find a length of time that suits you, and then modify it as you go along.

Of course you may find this challenging if you happen to be participating in a group class and everyone is on a different personal rhythm. You may end up feeling inadequate or superior, and neither of these attitudes is going to help you.

There’s a trade-off that you have to weigh: on the one hand, group practice certainly generates more powerful energy (positive or negative).

On the other hand, when you’re in a group you’re more likely to be faced with distractions.

Practicing alone reverses the effects of practicing in a group, and both of these options involve compromise.

A third option that you might like to try experimenting with is to practice with a small group of people who are at a similar level of experience as yourself.

If you’re fortunate enough to find or form such a group, you may find the best of both worlds.

In any case, if you do group practice, you still need to make time for your individual practice as well. The powerful energy of group practice can help you get a taste or preview of levels you may advance to, but you need private time to hone your skills and gain understanding of where you are on the spectrum of concentration.

Practicing alone takes more self-discipline and strong motivation, but you have more freedom to choose your schedule and meditation object.

The solo-practice scenario parallels more similarly what you face during dreaming and visioning. So, as We get back to our main subject, We can conclude:

A steady private meditation practice may make your dreaming and visioning skills more effective.

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BOOK TWO: chapter nine: the nature and meaning of dreams and visions (part 6)


PART SIX: Fantasy And Reality

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[From Buddhas Heruka and Naropa]

You can also use your dreams to create your waking life.

This differs from literally turning your fantasy world into your ‘real’ world, because the dreams and wishes of the other actors powerfully affect the ‘real’ world.

You can, however, use your wishes to bend reality somewhat, and influence energies to flow in the direction that you’d like.

How quickly and to what extent this can manifest depends considerably on the wishes of the other people surrounding you (this is one reason why many spiritual traditions emphasize community). But even if you often feel like a stranger in a strange land, your wishes constantly affect your experience.

For instance, let’s say you’re in a job that you really don’t enjoy. Or maybe you just need to find a job. If you focus your mind on an imagined situation that you wish to find yourself in, the energies of your wish flow in the direction of that outcome.

If you can also manage not to think negatively about your ‘existing’ situation, that keeps the way clear for the energy to flow more precisely in the direction of your desires. Your energy goes where your mind goes, so negative thoughts, especially discouragement, tend to divert or short-circuit the fulfillment of your wishes because they dilute the amount of energy that actually goes in the direction you want.

It’s essential to understand that this manifestation process works in a rather unpredictable way.

So it’s best not to focus too much energy on the specifics of what you wish for, or you may miss opportunities arising.

This shows another example of how grasping may sneak in, disguised as part of your spiritual endeavors.

Generate your wish enthusiastically but try not to grasp too tightly at how you think it ought to come true.

The more clearly you can understand what it is you’re really wishing for (the stripped-down version), the more latitude Enlightened Beings have to influence outcomes. Then, the more quickly and easily you’re likely to notice results.

Even the smallest inspiration you get could be coming from Enlightened Beings trying to help you open up and allow your dreams to come true.

You can do this with any wish you have in your life. The state of mental relaxation that allows Us to plant seeds resembles a dream state, and with some people, dreamtime is the best time for Us to plant those seeds. You can take your wishes to sleep with you, and We may use that opportunity to both give you ideas and show you how you may need to fine-tune your wishes.

During your waking time you can process what you remember from your dreams, and also work on focusing your energy towards them.

In this way We can help you to dream yourself to a more fulfilling life.

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