Somehow, I had the good fortune to practice meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition which offers many yogic powerful methods of developing oneself on retreat. Many Tibetan teachers called Lamas offer a simple fruitional three step practice instruction. For instance, we have Tenzin Wangyal’s Stillness, Silence, and Spaciousness. Then we have Garab Dorje’s Three Words the Strike the Vital Point, Tulku Urgyen’s: Look, See, Rest; these powerful three points make it easy to remember how to practice, and distill volumes and years of wisdom down into something we can implement.
I was on my annual retreat for one month a few years back, and these three instructions arose, that I used every day. I’d like to share this for those interested in these practices and methods. If you don’t practice Dzogchen meditation, they may not make sense, it’s called “self secret,” so in that case, it’s recommended to find an authentic teacher, learn sitting practice and after time, receive introduction to mind nature, from there we practice:
1. Sustain the recognition of no-self
2. Open all karmic knots and offer everything, completely die into space
3. The world will appear as the pristine celestial rainbow mandala, that is how it is
Here’s a brief explanation. The first is that we train in the root instruction from the teacher, of seeing no self, egolessness. It begins to feel rather than you sitting there, it’s like a light that’s been turned on, a self existing bulb, bright but no one really inside. Keep a light sustained recognition, establish it for awhile as how you see the world.
The second, notice if there is any holding inside, fear, tightness, blocks, attachments, longing, anything at all. Imagine that you offer it all into space, holding nothing back for yourself. There may be fear or grief that arises when our deep “knots” open. This is a sign of the blocked channels clearing, and not to be confused with having a disturbing emotion or meltdown, it’s more akin to a healing crisis.
In Tibetan tantric preliminary practice, we use a brass or copper or even gold plate, with gems and grains and perform something called a mandala offering 100,000 times. In this gesture, we keep nothing for ourselves, we offer it all into space. This completely undos attachment and grasping, and helps us to let every single thing go, almost as if we are preparing for our very death. This is not a physical death, but the death of your unenlightened self, karmic debris that no longer serves us. The masters say, practice dying into space, many times. This is the deepest of healing possible.
The third, I will not comment on, because this experience should not be covered by concept of fabrication, and is considered highly personal and “secret.” However, if you commit for a month, doing 4 sessions a day, and follow the first two instructions under the close supervision of an authentic teacher,* you may well have some powerful experience of a glimpse of what it feels to see the world as it is, simple pristine and light. One could say, we are well on our way to enlightenment! This requires the “98% perspiration” by taking the time to really practice, and learn how to really open and let go.
Well wishes, and may everyone experience reality as it is. This will help us so much to be strong when challenges arise, and finally, when we pass away, we can let go, with warmth and peace.
*Find an authentic teacher. These days, some of these teachers have sadly gone astray: power, control, exploitation and ownership of students, so please be careful. Some of these communities are like “Gurus Gone Wild,” and can’t really help us to attain enlightenment. Find one who keeps to deep practice, who will work with you directly and personally who you can really trust. I would not get too involved with administrative tasks and community conflict, we need retreat, time to go deeply, and from there, aspire to help the world.
This post was originally published in 2014 and edited August, 2020