Monthly Dharma Quotation: The Great Sky
An important part of celebrating the solstices and equinoxes is the idea of a cycle. The cycle of the seasons if you like, of Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. But also the cycle of the breath, the in and out-breath and also the cycle of the heartbeat. Or all the cycles that exist in the natural world, in nature. In Dharma there are also cycles.
There is at the profoundest level, the cycle of the manifestation of appearances and their cessation. The appearances are like a mirage, the illusion of magical appearances. We say, “nothing whatever but everything arises from it.” The “nothing whatever” is the great sky from which everything seems to arise in an intrinsically ungraspable way. We might think we can reach out and get hold of it and that as we get hold of what appears in this magical way, part of the magic of ourselves could turn that into something solid.
In other words, we want to grasp and graspable things appear because it’s created by that grasping. The phantasmagoria of magical appearances seems to become solid and real only because we grasp. But actually, you need to realize there is no such thing as grasping or the grasping mind. In fact, it’s not possible to grasp. It’s like a meaningless word. It’s like a bad dream that you could wake up out of. Instead, you can realize that the magical appearance, the display, the dynamism of everything, it appears by its own power and we are simply part of all of that. We do not have to have meddlesome fingers interfering with everything. We can be quite happy for it to manifest out of and from its own nature and to dissolve back into that same nature, that same vast sky.
This teaching was given by Rigdzin Shikpo to the Longchen Foundation Mandala at our recent celebration day in honour of the great 14th century teacher Longchen Rabjam.
The moment of the Buddha’s enlightenment has been likened to a ‘Lion’s Roar’. The Lion’s Roar course introduces the Dzogchen tradition of Buddhist meditation.
This weekend is an online event and is suitable for people who have attended The Lion’s Roar Foundation (Gate 1) weekend. For anyone who has already completed Gate 2, but would like to revisit the wonderful teachings of this Gate, refresher rates are available. The teacher for this Gate will be Kathy Nairne.
The Saturday will start at 12:00pm GMT (07:00 EST) with an introduction by the event organiser followed by the practice of formless meditation together and teachings by Kathy Nairne. Sunday will begin at 12:00pm GMT (07:00 EST) with a guided group meditation session of the Gate 2 practice followed by further teachings with Kathy Nairne. On both days there will be the opportunity to ask questions and to talk online with your fellow practitioners. Both days will finish at 5:30pm GMT (12:30 EST).
For any questions, please contact the event organisers John at email@example.com and Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is available now on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-lions-roar-gate-2-weekend-online-tickets-528283599467
Cinema Shikpo on 3 March: Part II of The Mandala Principle in The Dzogchen Tradition
The most important thing in a Dharma mandala is that the central principle should be what is called Bodhicitta, the awakened heart, which is wisdom and compassion in union. And what you want to send out, as it were, through the gates of the mandala is what is associated with love, compassion, wisdom – and the energy and power that you wish to associate with that. And you want to go out and you want to touch and to reach other people.
From Rigdzin Shikpo’s talk on The Mandala Principle in the Dzogchen Tradition
Friday, March 3: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm United Kingdom time
Join the Longchen Foundation for a public viewing on Zoom of the second half of Rigdzin Shikpo’s Heart of Buddha 2016 teaching on The Mandala Principle in the Dzogchen Tradition.
The Zoom session will begin with 10 minutes of formless meditation, followed by the streaming of Rigdzin Shikpo’s second talk from the Mandala Principle teaching together with some of the Q & A – a bit more than an hour in time total. Attendees are very welcome to remain after the video for a bit of Zoom together time.
Here is the Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89322145627 (Meeting ID: 893 2214 5627)
If you plan to attend this teaching, please consider supporting the work of Longchen Foundation by making a voluntary donation of £10 or so to General Fund – Longchen Foundation donation page. Any questions? email@example.com
In Person: Longchen Lineage Day on 15 April
This 15 April, the Longchen Mandala will come together to celebrate the lineage of the Longchen Foundation and to make offerings for the long life of Rigdzin Shikpo. For the members of the Foundation, it is primarily through Rigdzin Shikpo’s teachings that we come to understand and connect to the indestructible heart essence that is the nature of reality and the path to awakening. So on this day we celebrate the connection we have to the teacher and the lineage that he represents. This event is open to members of the Longchen Foundation and will take place in person. For more information, email the events team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, you can see all of our forthcoming and ongoing events on our calendar here: https://www.longchenfoundation.org/events/