Dharma Quotation: Appearance and Emptiness
What you see that appears before you can be said to emerge from ungraspable emptiness. As Trungpa Rinpoche says, “Nothing whatever but everything arises from it.” Everything arises from that state which cannot be said to be anything at all in any conceptual or identifiable terms. It doesn’t mean to say it is literally nothing whatever in the sense of just the idea of a bland blankness. It means that anything that you try to describe it as wouldn’t be valid. And any time you put your emotional weight on a particular manifestation of it, it would eventually just give way because there is nothing there that could support you.
So it does not mean that truly there is nothing. In other words, it is not true to say that it is non-existence, only that there is nothing whatever in any conceptual sense. And from that state everything seems to arise in the sense that appearances seem to manifest out of that state and then dissolve back into it.
When the grasping mind gets hold of these seeming appearances, they seem to become real. So you might say that what we call reality, solidity and so on is simply our imagination. We conjured it up as a kind of poisonous magical illusion of our own and actually there is nothing that corresponds to that at all. But we’ve hypnotized ourselves into believing such things actually exist. The truth is that everything manifests as Māyā, as magical appearances because they are none other than the uncreated, unborn, non-existent power of the mysterious ungraspableness of what is.
This teaching was given during Rigdzin Shikpo’s recent teaching to the Endless Compassionate Vision students.
Cinema Shikpo: Francesca Fremantle’s Teaching on Luminous Emptiness
This forthcoming Friday, 7 April at 5pm UK time, join the Longchen Foundation for a public showing of Francesca Fremantle’s teaching on her remarkable book Luminous Emptiness: Understanding the Tibetan Book of the Dead, recorded in 2019 at the Shang Shung Institute UK. In this teaching she talks about a wide range of important Buddhist topics such as emptiness and appearance, the living nature of reality, mandalas and the path to awakening.
If you are planning to attend this event, please consider making a voluntary donation of £10 to the Longchen Foundation: https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/2609#!/DonationDetails#%2FDonationDetails
Here is the Zoom Link (Meeting ID: 893 2214 5627)
About Francesca Fremantle
Francesca Fremantle received a BA in Sanskrit and a PhD from SOAS University of London for a translation and study of the Guhyasamāja Tantra
In 1969 she met Chogyam Trungpa, who had recently founded the first Tibetan Dharma centre in Britain at Samye Ling in Scotland, and became his student. The following year he moved to the USA, and subsequently she spent several years there studying with him in Boulder, Colorado. They collaborated on a new translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, which was published in 1975. After Trungpa Rinpoche passed away she became a student of Rigdzin Shikpo, whom she regards as being inseparably united in mind with Trungpa Rinpoche.
Francesca translates Sanskrit and Tibetan texts and writes on Buddhism. Her articles and reviews have been published in Buddhism Now, The Middle Way, Tricycle, Buddhadharma and Shambhala Sun. Authorised as a teacher and meditation instructor within the Longchen mandala, she has taught on the Path of Freedom events and The Lion’s Roar programme.
Longchen Lineage Day
On Saturday 15 April, the Longchen Foundation will celebrate Lineage Day. The day is very close to Rigdzin Shikpo’s birthday and also to Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s passing. It is a day of practising together, of celebration and of making offerings for Rigdzin Shikpo Rinpoche’s long life.
We perform the Tenshuk (long life practice) in order to increase Rinpoche’s life – there is nothing more special than that. This practice goes beyond anything personal – it is having the heart wish of extending Rigdzin Shikpo’s life so he stays with us to teach us the Dharma. The focus here is on not-self, not ‘me’ or ’my offering’, but rather we have the heart wish of spreading Rinpoche’s teachings by making offerings through the special practice of Tenshuk.
This year, Lineage Day will take place in-person at St. Margaret’s Institute. There is a charge to cover for expenses on the day such as renting the hall, flowers, food etc. when you register via Eventbrite. There will also be an opportunity to contribute to the Tenshuk offerings made to Rigdzin Shikpo which will be described in the invitation email.
There is also an option to attend this day online via Zoom for those who cannot travel to Oxford for the day. So once you have registered be sure to save the Eventbrite confirmation email which will contain the Zoom link for the day. Please note, this event is only open to members of the Longchen Foundation. For more information, please email email@example.com.
Oxford Path of Freedom Summer Term
The Oxford Path of Freedom group will begin their summer term soon on Tuesday 18 April. This teaching group meets weekly on Tuesdays 7:30pm to 9:00pm and is open to the general public. The Summer term will cover various topics from the Mahāyāna teachings, such as the apramāṇas, bodhicitta, the Way of the Bodhisattva and lojong practice. This class meets online and is open to all. For more information see the Oxford group page and to receive the Zoom link, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Heart of Buddha Teaching Available Now
Rigdzin Shikpo’s Heart of Buddha teaching from 2022 December is now available to rent or own on demand. This teaching was given in two parts. In the first Rinpoche’s expounds his belief that the purest interpretation of the Buddha’s teachings, the ‘Buddhadharma,’ is in fact an approach to the truth of our experience and as such not a religion in the traditional sense. The second talk was given to our sister sangha, the Awakened Heart Sangha, and in this teaching he talks about the inherent ungraspable nature of reality: The Great Mystery.
This teaching can be purchased or rented on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/buddhadharma.
We also have four clips of this teaching available for free now on Youtube: