Lama Yeshe

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Submitted by Aphrodites Chela on
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Thanks hotspring for the book recommendation. I very much like what he says about using, not renoouncing, one's deisre to gain enlightenment. But I'm running into some problems. The 3 prerequisites for practicing Tantra are in direct contradiction to the value I place on my Self. The Guru Papers address this issue. I'm finding myself trying to decode what he's saying so I can integrate the information. That's why I left the christian church. I had to keep redefining what they were saying so I could swallow it.
Renunciation: I could only make this work by holding onto one line....create space within yourself to allow for other realities....the god within.
Selfless Giving: Bodichitta....focusing on others to the exclusion of honoring my Self is dangerous for me. I get lost and caught up in pleasing others. I become mush with nothing real to give.
Denial of "Reality": This one nailed it for me. I get it that any 2 people looking at the same thing will perceive it differently, and even the same person looking at it for the second time. BUT it's too much like the christian concept of original sin. Don't tell me what I see isn't real. Don't make me doubt who I am, as a prerequisite to higher realms. I have a body. I live in this world.
Other than that Yeshe's pretty cool. The main piece I'm getting from him is: it's all here, now, just open yourself to it (enlightenment).
May all sentient beans gain enlightenment...Reunitii too

Comments

Hey Friend - A quick answer

Hey Friend -

I don't have the book in front of me so I will just freestyle with my understanding of why the concepts you are having trouble with don't match up with my sense of what Yeshe is saying:

Renunciation: the exact translation of renunciation means "definite emergence" - so, by standing back from compulsive actions that are based purely off of aversion or craving, our real intelligence is able to "definitely emerge" from our ignorant grasping.

Selfless Giving: This one is very tricky. Selfless Giving is as much a form of generosity to oneself as to another, because one's self is a dependent arising (ie, is part of a web of interconnection, or you and the world are the same thing, and the separation is an illusion). Dependent arising is the "king of all logic." Dependent arising means that everything is empty of inherent self-existence (which does not mean that it is empty of meaning, just self existence). To that extent, all taking is just as selfless as giving, and all giving also benefits the self, because its all the same thing. The Self is a construct of the relative plane of reality. It has a function within the larger web of absolute reality. There is no place where you can say that you begin and end. As such, Selfless Giving is semantically tricky, since Buddhists don't believe there is even such a thing as a self-existent self. I wonder though, if you have ever really selflessly given? I'm not sure that I have. I have given a lot, but not selflessly. In much of your writing, I sense a deep craving that contextualizes the giving (ie, it is not selfless giving). It is true that giving and giving with hopes of a return, especially a confirmation of the "Self", will get exhausting, and turn one into mush. I know because i do it all the time. This is not really giving though. This is an energy output with a hope of a return, even if this hope or expectation is not made explicit in the exchange. This is not what Buddhists are talking about.

Denial of Reality: You seem the most charged about this one. I'd love to know which page you are referring to or if you could give me a statement that sums up the position that didn't jive with you. You don't like to be told that your experience of life is merely an illusion, or empty of meaning, or not real. That's understandable. Since I don't know exactly what you are referring to, I can only respond generally, which is to reiterate that it is a very common misconception that the Buddhist notion of emptiness is equivalent to saying that nothing is real. This is a misunderstanding. Everything is real, but not inherently self-existent. That does not mean that you don't exist or are not real. It just means that believing you exist as a self separated from the web of reality is inaccurate, and to the extent that you believe you are self-existent, you will suffer, because when we look at Reality, we see that this simply isn't true of anything or anyone. So the only "denial" of "reality" that we need to wean ourselves from is the mistaken illusion that self-existence is real. Yes, we need to deny our sense of what is real and replace it with what is really real: interdependence. Again, there's a tension between the relative and the absolute. On an absolute level you probably understand that there is more to reality than whatever you are wrapped up in. It doesn't mean that if you realized you were inherently self-existent, you would stop having relative experiences. You would still experience reality as a self, but you would understand the context of what this self emerges from. You DO have a self, and you ARE real, within this mysterious web. To see only the relative level is to get wrapped up in aversion and craving. This is a fine way to go about things except when you have to move on, experience sudden changes, or have to die. Then at that point we see that we are confronted with ultimate Reality, and our little notions of what reality was (our aversion, our craving) didn't prepare us for death or liberation. We just spent our lives having a subjective experience of being in pleasure or pain. If there is more to reality than this, and we are curious to experience it, we must get beyond ourselves enough to see a larger contextual picture. How could we "see" ourselves without considering the causes and conditions around us, that we contribute to and are affected by, and which are "reality."

What she said

Hotspring has articulated these concepts better than I could. I just have one thing to add.

I think all of us *have* experienced selfless giving. It may be simpler than it seems. Have you ever been asked to take a picture for some happy group or couple on vacation? Helped hold the door for someone with a handicap? Stopped while walking your dog so some little kid could pet it? These things could be minor annoyances, and don't give us anything materially in return, but we always (unless in a very bad mood already) seem to walk away from them with a smile because we are feeling a sense of satisfaction due to having just contributed a little bit the the happiness in the world. That's selfless giving to me, but I don't think selfless is actually a very good term for it. Rather, it's pleasantly full of a much larger sense of self. Philosophically, we can understand that all of us our connected in some way, but that might not get very far on its own. Fortunately our instincts for empathy allow us to act quite spontaneously and naturally in the interests of others while also evoking our own most positive emotions. It's just a question of being able to momentarily get past the other emotions that come out of an illusory mindset of separateness.

Thanks amari, for pointing

Thanks amari, for pointing out spontaneous acts of selfless giving. Perhaps spontaneous acts are generally more selfless because they occur in response to immediate needs, which the ego doesn't have time to either coopt or try to take credit for (ie, when you are spontaneous you haven't gone through an elabrorate conceptual process about any possible returns on the giving. you probably don't even have a sense of self in that moment other than your instinct to help).

OK, one MORE thing

I think maybe that kind of giving should be called "self-transcending" instead of "selfless." Because I think that in those moments, it no longer seems to make any difference whether you are doing something kind for another or for yourself. If you get a glass of water for someone because they are thirsty, and your mindset is free from obstructions, it doesn't really matter whether the thirsty person is you or someone else. Everything is the same...the awareness of thirst, the desire to alleviate the thirst, the enjoyment of the water and the satisfaction of having met a real need are all still there in both cases even if in slightly different forms, and they all arise quite naturally without any effort in either case.

On the other hand, if you get someone a glass of water to prove that you always do so much for them, or if you get yourself a glass of water to draw attention to the fact that nobody ever does those things for you, or a thousand other contortions of mind (I've done these, so I should know!) then the issue of "me" vs. "them" becomes a terrifically important distinction.

100 Glasses of Water

Thanks so much for that analogy. It certainly brings clarity. My problem seems to be feelings of neglect (neglecting myself?) if I keep looking after her thirst while building up resentment that she doesn't acknowledge MY need.....yech.....AND I'm bringing her Pepsi when she wants water!

That's an important point

I think that if were were all perfectly enlightened beings, we could keep bringing the same person water our whole lives without feeling resentment. But most of us are not. We want balance in our relationships, where we can give joyfully to our partner and they can give joyfully back to us. If you are giving with resentment, every glass of water you bring is already poisoned, for you AND for her. Unless you can achieve complete liberation in the next few weeks (hey, keep trying anyway), maybe your goal should be to bring things back into balance. It seems like affection is your most important need in your relationship, and she's making practically no effort to meet it. That makes things hard for you. But maybe you're not meeting her biggest needs either. There's a questionnaire out there about this somewhere, if you think it won't make her vomit Blum 3

Here it is: http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi4501_enq.html

Puke On! Sister

I tried that questionnaire last year. Of course, I filled it out and she ignored it. St. Chela reminds us that I meet all of her needs. The only problem she has with The Relationship, is my whining about what I want...ALL THE TIME!
I'll try again....maybe St. Chela's missed something....who's gonna clean up this mess?

Haha

That doesn't really surprise me Blum 3 But if you're doing everything to make her happy, and she is doing very little to reciprocate, it's like she's drinking out of the same pitcher all the time without ever refilling it. At a certain point things will have to change, no?

Thank you thank you thank you

I'll get back to you on that stuff...really busy...overwhelmed
"Introduction to Tantra: The Transformation of Desire" gotta love the title.

Don't promise me pie in the sky. Put it on the table, I'm hungry.
Much Love

Thanks Amari and HS

for an inspiring (I first typed "inspiriting" Smile ) discussion. "Selfless" has always troubled me a bit because if you're figuring it out, your ego *is* in the equation. I've always been trying to say, "from a sense of abundance that makes sharing a joy."

Reactive Mind

I went back to Chapters 5,6 & 7 after reading your inspiriting posts. I got a good look at how reactive I am to the words "renunciate" "false self" and then chapter 9 "guru yoga" YIKES! But I've calmed down...Yeshe is cool if I can just get past myself. I don't have to decode as much as just wait and he gets around to making it ok for me.
Thank y'all again

Embracing My Death

Jesus and Osiris, with the help of women, did it...died and returned.
I struggled through Chapter 10 "Entering the Highest Medication Practice" (followed by "Arising As Deity"). The meditation practice seemed very complicated (as did hs's cocoon). As I tried to wrap my head around it, I got a simple idea. This has become my typical experience with this guy. I bitch about not getting it and he (or Amari or hotspring) drops a line that brings clarity....really cool clarity.
Here's what I've come up with:
As many times a day as I can remember, and in the morning for as long as I can stand it (20 minutes) I drop into this image. My chest and belly break open....the rotting of the corpse. It's like a seed pod that cracks from mid sternum to navel. The pod dissolves into dust....rapid, natural accelerated decomposition. Inside there is nothing but some kind of energy that disperses the dust in a oval ring (vulva? Praise the Goddess!) around emptiness. That's it.
My meditation skill level is such that , if I can hold that space for 10 seconds (of course, there is no time at that moment), I'm doing phenomenally well. So I do it often.
Lama Yeshe calls Tantra the lightning path and it's true. The image comes in a flash that brings peace and clarity. He also promises bliss. We'll see....I'm looking for other ways. I've put all my bliss eggs in the sex basket.

Jesus, Tantra, and Wave Breathing

I love this meditation. It's the first one, in my life, that's grabbed my devotion
Start by learning the Wave Breath
Inhale filling your belly. My Anat Baniel Method (disciple of Moshe Feldenkrais) instructor Lisa Mace, adds movement of the pelvis and spine. Let the filling of your belly rock your pelvis forward (pubis towards knees and floor). When your belly is full, keep inhaling to expand your chest. Your belly will start to flatten and pelvis rise (pubis up and towards your belly button). On the exhale, the caving of your belly starts to drive the air out. Finish with a complete collapse of your chest. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQwsMgAoNiU&feature=fvw
Dr. Tom Goode adds a nice piece about starting way down in the pelvic bowl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9frOB16m-yw
Sometimes the breath will be long and slow and quicker at other times. True also with the pelvic/spine movement, sometimes the movement will be big and sometimes small. It's all good.
I like to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. To preserve the stillness, I leave my mouth relaxed open, and raise my tongue to the roof of my mouth to inhale through my nose. Then let it drop for the exhale.
The Meditation
The mantra: Oh Lord, open my heart at the time of my death.
Lie on your back, a pillow under your knees if needed. A soft surface (bed) allows for more pelvic movement. Your hands rest on your chest, palms down, finger tips almost touching as they lie on your sternum (breast bone).
We start with Jesus, or the deepest, healing, compassionate deity of your heart. Call upon the deity as you inhale and fill your belly, say "Oh Lord" and imagine the light and love of that god filling you. As the inhalation spreads to expand your chest; note how your fingers are spreading apart, as if your rib cage was opening to expose your heart (Sacred Heart http://photobucket.com/images/sacred%20heart%20of%20jesus/). Say, "open my heart".
Now the Tantra (from my reading Lama Yeshe "Introduction to Tantra: The Transformation of Desire", Chapter 10): Your belly is hollow, your chest full. Exhale letting everything collapse. Every muscle relaxing into stillness. Your fingers come back together as your chest falls. Every part of your body becomes still. Say, "at the time of my death." At this point there is no movement, complete stillness. Stay in this dead space for as long as comfortable. This is your death. Nothing is left. Nothing has value or importance.
Start the cycle over before you become distressed. Fill yourself with new life and joy.
[quote]Oh Lord, open my heart at the time of my death[/quote]