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Buddhadharma : Fall 2013
84 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY FALL 2 0 1 3 when the flies, heat, noise, beggars, and pollution assault me, I try to relax into the pandemonium. I reverse my usual defen- sive approach to these unpleasant situations and bring them onto my path. There are times when I just can’t do it and run away. But even then, I remember the spirit of these strange meditations and try to convert my automatic aversion. All the reverse meditations culminate in equanimity, which is the ability to relate to whatever arises without bias. At the highest stages of the path, one no longer has any preference for chaos or calm, samsara or nirvana. Everything is experi- enced evenly. Pleasant experiences are not cultivated; unpleas- ant ones are not shunned. As we have seen, distraction is one of the biggest prob- lems in life and death. Therefore, one of the most important instructions is “do not be distracted.” The reverse medita- tions are a formidable way to end distraction because they bring distraction onto the path. They show us how to reverse our relationship to distraction. Instead of feeling that our meditation is constantly being interrupted—by a thought, a noise, or even life itself—the reverse meditations bring these interruptions into our practice. They become our practice. Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche said that if you’re in retreat and hear a noise that makes you angry, it’s a sign that you’re unable to bring distraction onto your path. Since fear is common in the bardos, Khenpo Rinpoche recommends watching horror movies as a way to work with it. This is a potent reverse meditation for all the bardos, but especially for the bardo of becoming. Because we don’t rec- ognize the appearances of this bardo to be projections of our mind, the farther we go into it the more terrifying it becomes. The fear becomes so piercing that it can force us to grasp an unfortunate rebirth just to escape the intensity of our own mind. Establishing a relationship to fear now helps us relate to it then and can prevent such a birth. I find this reverse meditation really challenging. The films are wretched, violent, and extremely difficult to watch. I usu- ally have to look away, or pause the movie, to bring any sense of meditation to it. My normal response is tremendous revul- sion. But as contrived and almost silly as this practice appears, it does evoke a host of nasty feelings. It allows me to become familiar with the shadowy side of my being, a dark side that comes to light in the bardo of becoming. Horror movies give me the opportunity to befriend horrible feelings I would oth- erwise never encounter. A key instruction in life or death is to join whatever we experience with meditation. But without actually practicing this, it’s hard to do. An unwanted experience arises, habitual patterns immediately kick in, and we run from the experience or relate to it poorly. The reverse meditations allow us to replace these bad habits with good ones. When difficult situ- ations arise, wisdom kicks in instead of confusion. Adapted from Preparing to Die, by Andrew Holecek. Published by Snow Lion, 2013. distance learning opportunities tibetan language courses: levels i, ii, and iii Fundamentals of Buddhism: a dharma course (No Tibetan required) tli Bookstore Best-selling Beginners’ package with effective instructional dVds Visit the tli weBsite Free study aids, info about classes, and more www.tibetanlanguage.org tiB etan language institute learn tiBetan & study Buddhism with daVid curtis Over 19 years’ experience teaching hundreds of students “Learning Tibetan from David Curtis is definitely one of life’s better experiences.” —K.J., VA David was named a Lama in 1992 and an Acharya in 2005. new!! Buddhism Courses AVAILABLE FROM: Diamond Lotus Foundation, Inc. P.O. Box 272 Ithaca, NY 14851 Part 1: hardcover, $25 Part 2&3: hardcover, $30 KÜN-ZANG LA-MAY ZHAL-LUNG Translated & edited by Sonam T. Kazi The Oral Instruction of Kün-zang La-ma on the Preliminary Practices of Dzog-ch’en Long-ch’en Nying-tig, as transcribed by Dza Pal-trül Rin-po-ch’e “These preliminaries contain the essence of the most extraordinary Paramitayana and Inner Vajrayana techniques, which are used to dissolve the original ignorance for the realization of the primordially existent, liberated Mind in all sentient beings. . . . Since these oral instructions contain extremely important information, extracts from various Indian and Tibetan root texts, and heartfelt advice, they will definitely be helpful to real seekers of realization.” — S. T. Kazi (888) 812-8809 www.diamondlotusfoundation.org The Oral Instruction of Kün-zang La-ma on the Preliminary Practices of Dzog-ch'en Long-ch'en Nying-tig by Jig-me Gyal-way Nyu-gu, as transcribed by Dza Pal-trül Rin-po-ch'e KÜN-ZANG LA-MAY ZHAL-LUNG Translated & edited by Sonam T. Kazi AVAILABLE FROM: Diamond Lotus Foundation, Inc. P.O. Box 861 Beacon, NY 12508 (888) 812-8809 Add $6.00 S/H for first book and $3.00 for each additional book. For expedited shipping, please add $3.00 extra. “It is a universal truth that it is extremely enjoyable to live in this phenomenal world. Nobody wants to part with worldly pleasure. It is also a universal truth that everything that conditionally exists, sooner or later, must face ultimate destruction.... Those of us who are aware of this, in time, search for a solution to transcend death. Some of us come across the Buddhist teaching called Dzog-ch'en, whose superlative virtues excite us so much that we totally forget the proper approach to it. Just as a towering building must have an equally sound foundation, success in ultimate realization through Dzog-ch'en teaching depends entirely on a thorough understanding of the law of karma at the relative level. KÜN-ZANG LA-MAY ZHAL-LUNG explains how to attain the proper balance between the relative and absolute aspects of the practice in very simple language.” PART 1: 256 pp, 8 color plates, hardcover, $35 PART 2 & 3: 352 pp, 4 color plates, hardcover, $50 – S.T. Kazi THE ORAL INSTRUCTION OF KUN-ZANG LA-MA ON THE PRELIMINARY PRACTICES OF DZOG-CH ’EN LONG -CH’EN NYING -TIG PART ONE As transcribed by Pal-trul O-gyen Jig-me Ch’o-kyi Wang-po Rin-po-ch’e NGA-GYUR NYING -MAY SUNG -RAB ENGLISH TRANSLATION SERIES VOLUME IV Translated from the Tibetan and edited by Sonam T. Kazi ̈ ̈ ̈ THE ORAL INSTRUCTION OF KUN-ZANG LA-MA ON THE PRELIMINARY PRACTICES OF DZOG-CH ’EN LONG -CH ’EN NYING -TIG PART ONE As transcribed by Pal-trul O-gyen Jig-me Ch’o-kyi Wang-po Rin-po-ch’e NGA-GYUR NYING -MAY SUNG -RAB ENGLISH TRANSLATION SERIES VOLUME IV Translated from the Tibetan and edited by Sonam T. Kazi ̈ ̈ ̈