Tantra has as its essence, the concept of self-sharing. The tantra technique is to bring awareness to what happens between people, how people relate in spite of natural instinct which dictates the forming of one group against another. Tantra as a technique hands a human being the opportunity to celebrate an intimacy that exists between ourselves and every person we come in contact with.
Everything that has to do with “seeing ourselves for who we are” and therefore especially awareness techniques are constantly under scrutiny from well-meaning philosophers and the religiously ordained. There is this deep-seated drive we have as human beings to label something before it can be regarded as valuable.
I will walk you through some commentaries from Buddhist priests and commentators of their writings and I invite you to follow the struggle to be able to clearly tell people what life is all about. These scriptures also want to communicate that unless people experience the transformations for themselves, the mere fact that they read and understand, this knowledge is of little value.
Let’s look at what is being said:
Some people practice tantra for the sake of other sentient beings and sees it as the only purpose of the practice of tantra techniques. The Buddhist tantra sutras state that four kayas (svabhavikakaya, dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, nirmanakaya) need to be planted in order to accomplish extensive works for others, to free them from suffering and to lead them to the inspiring happiness of enlightenment.
Those who have received the four Highest Yoga Tantra initiations from a qualified Buddhist vajra guru, are the ones who can plant the seeds of the four kayas. For a Mahayanist it is unbearable that other sentient beings are in samsara, as the Mahayanist wishes to liberate all sentient beings from the darkness and lead them to enlightenment.
It is reasoned that in order to lead others to enlightenment, you yourself have to reach the dharmakaya. While contemplating what the dharmakaya is, one develops a need to practice a technique and the highest of the techniques is the Highest Yoga Tantra. Dharmakaya involves the subtle mind which is completely purified of the ability to have a dualistic view which is part of the natural oscillation of the mind.
It is therefore possible to change the appearance of your true existence. Should a person become part of the oscillation of the mind then one has to change one’s true existence all the time as the mind is ever changing. Once again this constitutes an unbearable situation which calls on the need to practice a technique to offer a helping hand under these dire circumstances.
This mind will oscillate forever without the practice of the Highest Yoga Tantra but while you will carry on with the practice of meditation you can become the emptiness, you can become free from the oscillation and you can directly see the emptiness of all existence without any duality.
In all these ancient discussions there are two positions taken regarding the person and the mind. The simplest is that you can become aware that you are more than the mind. You are empty as you aren’t your mind, the mind oscillates while you are empty from being taken from one pole to the other. The preferred view of the initiated ones is that you should rid the mind of the oscillation, there should not be any change in mood or position.
Let’s look at this example. It is said that Arya bodhisattva practitioners of the Highest Yoga Tantra who have realised the clear light of meaning and who directly perceive emptiness, they do this by accepting the dualistic view and not by cutting it off completely. The argument is that either you observe the dualism and you are therefore still tainted by it, which represents a lower level of enlightenment, or you eradicate the dualism completely and you are therefore in dharmakaya.
The conversation is whether it is better to say “emptiness of the mind” or an “emptiness because you are free from the dualistic mind”. Some see themselves as free from shedrip, or suffering as even a subtle dualistic mind cannot be held in place by meditating on emptiness forever. It is said that such a person meditates on the emptiness, they succeed but the moment they step out of the meditation they become part of the dualistic mind swing again.
The discussion becomes even more inconsequential as it is argued that there is “true existence” only when there is no concept of dualism left in the mind and “an appearance of true existence” when the oscillating mind is doing what it naturally does. Dharmakaya is the one-pointed concentration on the emptiness of all existence, which therefore lasts forever and that mind is completely purified from even the subtlest dualistic view.
In order to achieve dharmakaya, the immediate principal is to have a subtle mind, a mind that is free from dualism and to achieve that we need to practice tantra, which is the ultimate technique to achieve enlightenment. The transcendental wisdom of dharmakaya advocates a completely pure and subtle mind, one which forever indulges in one-pointed emptiness and not only during meditation.
It is said that the holy mind of dharmakaya is completely free from even the most subtle dualistic view and if not then that person cannot guide sentient beings simply by remaining in dharmakaya. The need for unification, to eradicate non-dualism arises as even the two forms of a buddha: nirmanakaya and sambhogakaya need to unite, the rupakaya (the accumulation of merit) and the dharmakaya (accumulation of wisdom) need to become one.
A logical reasoning about the mind / body coexistence is put forward, as ordinary beings, our mind is inseparable from the body and mind and body are always inseparable and in essence, they are one entity. As non-ordinary beings, when the path to enlightenment is completed, with cessation of all disturbances in the thoughts about awareness; only then the continuation of the subtle mind becomes the dharmakaya and the continuation of the subtle body becomes the pure illusory body.
To be able to achieve the unification of the holy mind of dharmakaya and of the holy body of rupakaya, which is in essence the unification of “no-more learning”, we must train our mind to follow its principal basis, which is the amalgamation of all learning. There is the unification of the subtle mind, a mind of clear light, a mind which directly perceives emptiness and the pure illusory body and also a body which is free from being subject to the interpretation of sensory stimuli and is therefore a body of no-more learning. This is a body that gives permission to meditate on the paths of learning and no-more learning and therefore causes the unification.
In order to attain the path of unification, we first need to isolate the causes of the path of the clear light mind and the illusory body. In order to achieve clear light, we should receive the Highest Yoga Tantra wisdom initiation which includes the clear light of example and clear light of meaning. Once again, we are trapped in the mental variable of having a body and having a mind. It seems that it isn’t enough to embrace the fact that we have a body and a mind.
We continue to follow the statement that body and mind constitutes a duality as we are told that before achieving the clear light of meaning, one achieves the clear light of experiences through the impure illusory body, the one that sends impure signals that can be interpreted in many ways. One first gain clarity about what life experiences offer us and then a subtle mind can see emptiness mixed with duality.
The clear light of meaning is the subtle mind that directly sees emptiness, free from the subtle dualistic view that is obscuring awareness. From the clear light of meaning one achieves the pure illusory body and by alternately developing these aspects, one achieves their unification. When a person develops the insight in all that the body does and what it is capable of and then alternate it with developing insights in what the mind does, through this process one can unite these two realities human beings are aware of.
To accomplish the path of the illusory body and the path of clear light, to have an awareness of body and mind, we need to receive the secret, also called wisdom, something we should train our minds in. To meditate on the path of procreation is the primary step to achieve the realisations of a clear light mind and an illusory body.
We have followed a long discussion as it stems from the question: “What do I share with others?” Do I share my rational thoughts, or do I share my purified thoughts, or do I share my body, or do I share my body that is driven by pure instinct? These are very relevant and serious questions as we know that most people share their oscillating mind thoughts, dualistic by nature and ultimately the sharing of mental patterns instead of sharing all of themselves.
I will encourage you to read further, to chew on further concepts and to admire how dedicated scholars were to passionately wrestle with simple concepts like the sharing of existing intimacy. The practice of sharing intimacy is simple, clear and real but the analysis of what it really entails, that is cumbersome.
How does one define a non-dualistic concept with a dualistic mind? Some brave people have tried over thousands of years and we are privileged to be able to read it and learn that we are still struggling with the same issues after all these years. The real question remains: “are you aware of what you share with others?” Some people believe that the actions are far more impactful than the awareness about the intention behind it all.
Quick path Highest Yoga Tantra
One can’t continue this discussion without spending some time on what tantra really is. Then there is also its association with yoga and meditation that needs to be clarified. The interesting aspect is that the Highest Yoga Tantra is depicted as a “quick path” to enlightenment and therefore allows us to live for others within one’s own lifetime. This has to be seen against the backdrop of reincarnation and the associated karma gathering along the way.
Let’s look at what is being said:
When it is said that enlightenment cannot be achieved without receiving Highest Yoga Tantra initiations then it might mean one of the following: one first has to join that religion or it is good for you to be structured and supported before you see the light. It is also suggested that the initiation into the Highest Yoga Tantra is the preparation that generates happiness at having the opportunity to practice tantra.
When following the Paramitayana path, one first has to accumulate merit and after accumulating this merit, when it is time to achieve enlightenment, one takes the actual Highest Yoga Tantra initiations and receives the actual wisdom consort. The main catalyst involved in this transformation is “meditation on procreation” as procreation is an existing, stable and ever-present life force. The meditation in the sadhanas becomes a skillful tantric method to complete the accumulation of unbelievably extensive merit in a short time.
One needs a preparation so that the mind can embrace the extensive emptiness and the extensive greatness of procreation life force. The main reason of achievement of the impure illusory body helps one to be fully prepared and enabled to achieve the unification of no-more learning within your own lifetime.
The practitioner of the Highest Yoga Tantra path who has realised the clear light of example, when that one has reached the higher levels of realisation, then avoidance and practice are the same. There is nothing to differentiate between the lows of hell and highs of enlightenment, then there is no difference between samsara and nirvana. When you have reached these very high tantric realisations, everything in the teachings becomes your own experience instead of being an academic approach to life.
The clear light of example, this subtle mind of transcendental wisdom realising emptiness, is called the “tantra mahamudra” which is a realisation of non-dual bliss and awareness. There is no further need to separate or unify mind and body, to separate yourself or unite yourself with others, you just flow with what natural human instinct does with you. Without this realisation of clear light of meaning, pure illusory body, unification of no-more learning; you cannot reach. Without the tantra mahamudra realisation there is no way to achieve dharmakaya and no way to achieve enlightenment and no way to guide others.
The continuation of the tantra mahamudra realisation, the subtle transcendental wisdom concentrating on emptiness, that is the principal cause of dharmakaya as you embrace life for what it is and not what it can be. Dharmakaya is the completely pure and subtle transcendental wisdom realising absolute nature that uses you to represent life on this earth.
I hope you have absorbed aspects of the essence of tantra, especially the mahamudra concept of your oneness with others. It is argued that there is an illusion of separateness and that mind and body can unite in one natural and pure state, it can do it through sharing with others, sharing the natural instinctual meaning of life.
Dakas and dakinis for direction
To be able to share the purest version of yourself with the people you come in contact with, to be able to be aware of your natural instinct to form groups against other groups and simultaneously be aware of the existing intimacy between people; to achieve this one needs the guidance of others, one needs to stand on the shoulders of giants instead of continuously reinventing all from scratch. One should be real, have real interactions and interact in an authentic way as intimacy is always unrehearsed.
The awareness techniques of meditation, yoga and tantra are always under the microscope as humans yearn to box, group and label all that relates to the meaning of our human existence. Human existence is acutely interwoven with intimacy between people. Dakas and dakinis should guide you, the male and the female, representatives of both genders should walk with you.
Let’s look at what is being said:
During meditation you can observe your experiences of life; that you usually absorb all around you, that you have visions of what life can be like, that you live an example or a representation of a reality, that you have consciousness about being alive, that you have chakras and a central channel as well.
Different expressions accompany these processes. The dakas and dakinis touch you intimately and bless the processes in order to make them serviceable. To have this happen you need to take Highest Yoga Tantra initiation, as well as meditation, yoga and tantra practices to reveal the methods of the body mandala. In order to make use of the patterns of life and have control over the winds that wish to tear you apart, to live from your central channel; you need to embrace the intimate company as it is provided by the dakas and dakinis.
In order to do body mandala practices, you need to take Highest Yoga Tantra initiations, then you have to practice the sadhanas and train your mind during these meditations every day. In order to experience the simultaneously-born or united bliss, you need to concentrate on the vajra body that is regarded as the symbol of highest spiritual power which is irresistible and invincible.
The very essence of life is revealed when you take initiations from skilled practitioners, when you do body mandala practices, when you receive the intimate blessing of the dakas and dakinis and when you practice awareness techniques; then you can more quickly achieve the tantra mahamudra realisation.
The perfect human rebirth is unbelievably precious as all people cannot completely live the tantric path in this life. Some will only be reborn in a pure realm where they have the opportunity to practice and complete the rest of the path and become enlightened. The unbelievable opportunity to accomplish all this with this perfect human rebirth, all this does exist in our day and age.
Meditating on instinct
For eons humans are aware that they harbour within them something that just happens in and through them, that they have a body to experience all that is happening and that they have a mind to structure what is observed, felt and shared. This is not trivial, this quest for self-expression is what brings us to be depressed and lonely, to be addicted and confused. Animals and plants have life but they do not question and they do not answer, as we humans do. Meditation isn’t just about sitting still; it is an active participation and focus on procreation instinct.
Let’s look at what is being said:
Wherever there is natural existence, there is a blankness in the mind as for something to exist, it is dependent upon the valid classification of the mind. Everything exists not only from the side of the object but from the side of the mind, the subject. Samsara and nirvana, good and bad, enemy and friend: the whole of existence is in dependence upon the mind.
After accumulating much merit, if a person is intelligent, fortunate and particularly experienced, he or she can understand this subtle point without confusion. Understanding only makes one have more faith in karma, the existence of virtue and non-virtue, samsara and nirvana. This strong faith is an infallible sign that a person has realisation of emptiness.
At this point it is very easy to arrive at the extreme certainty that things do not exist. Through merely removing labels one can prevent something from its existence. Hearing a word brings understanding in your mind that nothing exists from its own side as it needs to be defined. It is clear that something exists by being merely labelled and without the labelling is doesn’t exist.
When meditating on emptiness, it is extremely important not to miss any words because each word can give an incredible discovery of meaning. Each word is very clear, rich, neat and powerful in its own right. To have an exact translation according to the Tibetan is very important as each word is very powerful and gives a very clear understanding.
Meditation on something specific will allow you to become aware that it is real. To meditate on your procreation instinct, than meditation hands you the opportunity to be aware of what operates through you and that we are the product of natural procreation instinct. With awareness we can embrace our natural human procreation instinct instead of living a life of confusion. If we can find clear words then it means we have grasped some aspect about being a vehicle through which life expresses itself.
Everything comes in existence because of the mind
When all sentient beings become enlightened, there will be no samsara as the stream of our consciousness will be everlasting. Since the continuation of this subtle mind never ceases, there is always dharmakaya. When everyone has removed the perceived dualism then there will be no such thing as samsara, nor even the lower nirvana, which is a mere release from the bondage of karma and disturbing thoughts. We have therefore to conclude that enlightenment and samsara exist only because it was labelled in the mind.
It is possible that I can see someone as very ugly and undesirable and another person may see the same person as very enchanting and desirable. We are both seeing the same person at the same time. This simple example shows that the way things appear to me comes from my mind and the associated natural instinct and how things appear to the other person comes from his or her own mind and natural instinct.
To ponder on this way of thinking is very useful in controlling the dissatisfied mind, a mind of attachment. While an object is appearing to you as beautiful, try to be aware that you have created this beauty. You have fabricated a view, a view in which you believe one hundred percent and you are clear that this object exists from its own side as beautiful. You believe that it is permanently beautiful as the mind stopped for one moment to allow you to produce a verdict.
A person may appear as beautiful to you; however, others may have a very different opinion. Try to be aware that there are different views of that person who became the object of observation. It should therefore be clear that your view of an object comes from your own mind and isn’t forthcoming from the object itself. The procreation instinct in you made it possible for you to have a unique interaction with a person and can be quite removed from what someone else experienced.
In the Great Lam-rim Commentary, Lama Tsongkapa says that sometimes when you eat fruit that is supposed to be sweet, you unexpectedly find it tastes sour or fermented. The whole of existence, even samsara and nirvana, depends on a mind labelling and it all depends on the anchoring of the mind that very moment. Samsara comes from the mind of ignorance, a mind not aware of the absolute nature of the I. Many problems come from an ignorant and hallucinated mind as to the absolute nature of the I.
Enlightenment; the indestructible vajra holy body of Buddha which is free from all suffering, that enlightenment comes from the virtuous mind of method and wisdom. Everything that exists comes from the mind and without the mind knowing an object, there is no way an object can exist. Anything that exists is empty from its existence without the labelling in the mind, it therefore has a dependence on the mind.
Natural instinctual procreation is the pointed focus of meditation and only when it can be grasped and labelled, only then it exists for the human being. Awareness is the allowing of what exists, of what we perceive to exist because of the mind, to allow it to continue on its path without our interference. The perpetual judgement and denial of many aspects of natural human procreation instinct leads to many problems and great suffering.
The application of meditation, yoga and tantra enlightenment
Thousands of years of contemplations, conversation and commentaries about the human nature didn’t bring us further than coining two aspects: body and mind. Many millions of hours were spent and are being spent to dissect, analyse and define the mind and the body concepts. The interaction between these two concepts is high science and with every fresh wave of thoughts and evidence that washes over them, we are blessed with new insights which calm some of our concerns about life in general.
These conversations should not only be practiced by others but each of us have the responsibility to find and walk in our own unique light. In our modern era we have a deep-rooted fear of the natural instinct in us. Sexuality is still the most searched and blocked topic in the world wide web. The quest for peace between who we really are and how we put it into words, is ongoing and I do not foresee any end to it. My clients are amazingly beautiful people who have no joy regarding partnering, taking care of offsprings and being part of a group.
Let’s look at what is being said:
Wherever there is dharmakaya, there is also the vehicle of the subtle wind or body. The subtle mind and subtle wind are the same in essence as they simply have different labels because of their different functions. The teachings on Buddhist philosophy say: “There is no place where Buddha does not exist. There is no place where the mind cannot discover Buddha.” This helps very much to persuade your mind to practice Dharma and accumulate merit about the essence of your body instinct.
This discussion wants us to enter into the transcendental wisdom of dharmakaya, which understands and directly sees absolute truth, as well as conventional truth. It encourages us to remember the qualities of dharmakaya, to make offerings to all the Buddhas and generate secret bliss, which is the essence of the offering. Conventional truth refers to life without awareness and absolute truth refers to life with awareness. Once you are able to embrace your procreation instinct, then your life becomes an offering that leads to having and giving bliss.
Kadampa Geshe Chagyulwa’s life-story is always praised because he was extremely obedient in devoting himself correctly in thought and action to his honourable friend, Geshe Dolungpa. Every morning Geshe Chagyulwa cleaned his guru’s room, he served his guru in every way and as soon as he heard his guru’s voice calling him, he immediately stopped his religious offerings and went to serve him.
Geshe Chagyulwa was taking the garbage down the steps after he had cleaned his guru’s room and as he was walking down, he suddenly saw many Buddhas in nirmanakaya aspect. Normally he couldn’t even see one Buddha but that morning he unexpectedly saw many Buddhas.
This story is told to encourage monks to serve with an eye on the ultimate prize of seeing the perfection of what life is all about. It was also told to reinforce the need to see clearly, to see beyond the conventional and to touch the absolute essence of being alive. We are here on earth as we are the tangible manifestation and representation of life. Life exists because of plants, animals and humans. Humans question all and look for answers. A few just serve the life they find in themselves and one day they find themselves in a loving embrace with life and that moment they became alive.
A QUESTION TO ANSWER:
Are you alive? If you say no then who are you? If you say yes then how do you share yourself?
-Martin du Toit