Essential Advice for Solitary Meditation Practice ~ Part 1 of 3 parts

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Essential Advice for Solitary Meditation Practice
From “Great Perfection in the Palm of Your Hand”

Direct instructions on practice explained in a manner easy to understand called Extracting the Very Essence of Accomplishment

I go for refuge and bow with devotion at the feet of my incomparably kind, glorious sublime lama.

Grant your blessings to my followers and me that the profound path’s flawless realization arises swiftly in our mindstreams, and that we may then reach the unassailable state in this very life.

In this text I present essential advice for solitary meditation practice in an easily accessible way. My words will place direct instructions for the practice of the innermost secret Great Perfection in the palm of the hands of fortunate individuals. Their previous lifetimes’ positive aspirations and pure karmic propensity have led them to feel heartfelt trust in the teaching of the profound, secret Great Perfection, and in the lama who reveals it; and they wish to take their practice to completion. For them, this text will provide an open gate to the path of Great Perfection.

This can be understood through three general topics:

1. Preparation
How to purify your mindstream: direct your mind toward the teachings after having severed all ties of attachment.

2. Main Practice
How to directly cultivate the experience of Great Perfection: resolve any misconceptions regarding the view, meditation and conduct.

3. Post-meditation
How to keep your vows and samayas, and how to include all activities of this life within the dharma.

First, the Preparation

Now I will say a little about the first topic. That which is called mind—this so very vivid awareness—appears from the very beginning at the same time as Buddha Always Noble, KuntuZangpo.

Nevertheless, Buddha Always Noble knew this awareness as his own. Alas! Sentient beings endlessly wander in samsara because they do not recognize this, taking rebirth in countless forms of the six types of beings. Everything they have done has been meaningless.

Now, one time out of hundreds you have obtained a human form. If you do not do what you can now to avoid rebirth in the lower realms, your place of rebirth might be unknown, but wherever it might be among the six classes of beings, suffering will be its only sure feature.

It is not enough to have just obtained this human form. You must at once practice the authentic Buddhist path since the time of your death is unpredictable. Furthermore, at death you should have no regrets and should not be ashamed of yourself, like Jetsun Milarepa.

In my, Milarepa’s religious tradition,

We live so as not to be ashamed with ourselves.

When entering the Buddhist path, it is not sufficient to be a person who only adopts the outer appearance of a person on the path. Cut all entanglements to desirable things and to this life’s affairs. When you enter the gate to Buddhist practice without having cut these ties, you will lack determination, but not attachment to homeland, wealth, possessions, lovers, spouses, friends, relatives and so forth. Your attitude of attachment becomes an underlying cause; the objects of your attachment, catalysts. When these meet, negative forces[i] will create obstacles. You will once again become an ordinary worldly person, and will turn away from creating positive karma. …

The Actual Purification of One’s Mindstream

The common practices are the four thoughts that turn the mind away from samsara. The uncommon practices are taking refuge, generating bodhichitta, purifying obscurations and gathering the accumulations of merit and wisdom. Exert yourself according to each of their commentaries until experiences arise. Especially, embrace guru yoga as the vital essence of practice, and practice diligently. If you do not, your meditation will grow slowly, and even if it grows a little, obstacles will arise and genuine realization will not manifest in your mindstream. Therefore, forcefully pray with uncontrived devotion. At some time the realization of wisdom mind will be transmitted to your mindstream, and an extraordinary realization that can not be expressed by words will definitely arise from within yourself.

As it has been said by Lama Shang Rinpoche:

To nurture stillness,
To nurture spiritual experiences,
To nurture samadhi and other spiritual states—
These are common.
But by the strength of your devotion,
For realization to arise from within
Due to the lama’s blessings—
This is rare.

Therefore, for the ultimate truth of the Great Perfection to appear in your mind is dependent upon the preliminary practices. This is what Drigungpa meant when he said:

Other spiritual teachings regard the main practice as being profound. We regard the preliminary practice as being profound.

To be continued
Part 2: Main Practice is scheduled for January 20th
Part 3:Post-Meditation is scheduled for January 27th

Wisdom Nectar: Dudjom Rinpoche’s Heart Advice
translated by Ron Garry
 © Tsadra Foundation, 2005
Photo Source: unknown

In the service for public disclosure,
this post has been reprinted under the Fair Use Law.