The Experience During the Sangha Meditation Retreat (Jan 2012)

1stsangharetreatexp-1In the past seven days when I was attending the intensive Sangha Meditation led by Gyalwai Nyugu Rinpoche , I was absorbed in the bliss of meditation, experienced the true peace and happiness, often cut off from any contemplation. I have been learning Buddhism and practicing dharma meditation for some years. During these years I rarely observed myself, even if I did, it is a reaction from the reflection of external phenomena. This time, I truly experienced a spiritual journey towards the clear light realization.

Any Buddhist would understand that the reason why we are circling in the delusion of samsara is due to ignorance. We are continuously creating delusions and it becomes a habit. Habit in turn creates karma which causes pain and suffering. And we are farther and farther from happiness. Buddha taught the open and secret Dharma which is medicine for our body and mind.

From the Hinayana’s view of renunciation and to eradicate delusion to Mahayana’s view of direct understanding of delusion and liberation through understanding the nature of our mind, all depends on mind training. Everything depends on the mind, clear or not clear, understand or not understand, empty or not empty. Actually, the mind is also a concept, with inherent nature of emptiness. Then why are we not empty? That is because we created our mind, which is also the power of the mind.

When I was a child watching a movie, out of curiosity, I would sneak into the screening room, peeped at the person who played the film strips. In the beginning, the screen was blank, then the images would appear on the screen in sequence. Finally, when the film strips finished, the player would leave and so would the audience and the screen would return to a blank screen again. As I grew up, I began to understand, regardless of the many images on the screen, they would appear on the blank screen, inseparable.

1stsangharetreatexp-2During this meditation retreat, I went into my mind’s production room to see, the film strip of the mind was controlled by karma and delusions, the illusion was created by emotions, from the reflections of the mind and inseparable from the mind, finally, the mind that I observed and the mind that was reflected was in equanimity with dharmadhatu.

In the past, when I learned Buddhism, I would differentiate in great detail Alaya, Alaya consciousness, self-consciousness (skt svasamvittibhaga), absolute consciousness (skt vijnaptimatrata), etc. This time, I understood that there was nothing other than mind. Buddha said: when you practice virtues or non-virtues, you are your own witness, which is self-awareness; similarly, when you enter into meditation, naturally, you have the ability to see clearly, even when you are feeling drowsy, there is clarity. Your mind is like a mirror, when you look at deluded thought, each thought is very clear and natural. In Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (skt Bodhicaryavatara), it talks about right view and right intention. Right view is like a horse trainer, and right intention is like reins. It is very similar to meditating with objects, right view and right intention are like the horse trainer pulling the rein of the horse he is riding, and it cannot be too tight or too loose.

In the lineage master’s pith instructions, there is an analogy about the crazy monkey’s deluded mind. I had seen a story, in Jiuhua Mountain tourist area, someone caught a monkey, and placed it in a wooden box, and chained its leg. In the beginning, the monkey tried very hard to escape, but the chain was very short, and when it tried to jump out, it would hang inverted, so it decided to obediently squat in the wooden box, and became a photography object for tourists. Finally, a group of devotees decided to liberate it, and bought it from the monkey owner and released it. Initially, the monkey was not aware, finally it realized it was free and ran into the forest. But on the second day, the monkey owner found that the monkey had returned to the wooden box although its leg was not chained. This story is very helpful to those who practice shamatha meditation, the important point is to train our awareness and not feed on deluded habitual tendencies.

In Dzogchen, resting in mind’s own nature is described as an analogy about the seagull resting on the deck, regardless where the seagull flies to, it will return to the deck finally. Similarly for the mind, regardless of how restless the mind is, it will naturally rest.

In the beginning of the seven day Sangha Meditation Retreat, when I was meditating, my mind was very tight. When Guru Gyalwai Nyugu Rinpoche suddenly made a sharp sound, my mind just corrected a little but quickly returned to its original state. Later in one moment when my legs felt numb and tried to make myself comfortable, all of my concentration came to the numbed legs. Just in this particular moment, Rinpoche made a sharp sound again, I was totally shocked, like my soul jumped out of the body, and my mind were totally blank, empty of any thought, and it lasted for a long time. After that whenever I try to recall the experience, it is very difficult to express in words. It is like clarity, emptiness and purity. After that when I continued to meditate, I did not need to deliberately remember right view, regardless of whether the mind was relax or drowsy, clarity was always present and all around.

1stsangharetreatexp-3We visited the South Mountain located close to the sea. In the south side facing the sea, I observed the wind blowing and the sea waves, they were without a moment of stillness. But it was just water, all surrounding. Every wave naturally arises and subsides, naturally liberates. Wave is water; water is wave, naturally clear.

His Holiness Jigme Phunsok in his teachings said, “Do not be attached to the past, it is like the waves, naturally disappearing into the water, meditation is also like that, and living is also like that.

Letting go is liberation, delusion is realization, and everything is the mind.

Wisdom and compassion surround. Amituofuo! I prostrate to the kind root Guru-Gyalwai Nyugu Rinpoche.

— Sharing by Venerable Jing Lian —

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