Single Self-Sufficient Path

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Single Self-Sufficient Path

Postby Astus » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:41 pm

In the Jewel Ornament of Liberation (chapter on prajnaparamita, p. 251-255) Gampopa writes,

If the meaning of emptiness does not dwell within the mind, we cannot attain liberation by means of the other virtues.
When one is endowed with the meaning of emptiness, there is not a single thing which in not included in this path.

Cultivation of bodhicitta is also included. Visualization of the deity and the recitation of mantras are also said
to be complete when this [the realization of emptiness] exists. Performing fire-offering rituals is also included in this. Even the path—the six perfections—is complete in this. Doing prostrations is also included in this. It is also offering if one has this. Again, if one is endowed with this, it is also the very purification of evil deeds. The guarding of moral ethics and samaya is also included in this meaning. Listening, reflecting, and meditating are also encompassed in this meaning. Torma cakes and daily Dharma rituals are also included in this meaning.

In that case, if all these are included in meditating on only the essence or the mind-as-such, why do there appear teachings on so many graduated methods? It is for the purpose of leading all those sentient beings of little fortune, who are ignorant in the ultimate nature.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Single Self-Sufficient Path--implications for daily practice

Postby Lobsang Damchoi » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:57 pm

"Visualization of the deity and the recitation of mantras are also said to be complete when this [the realization of emptiness] exists. Performing fire-offering rituals is also included in this. ..."

This is intriguing, but what do you think Gampopa actually meant, in practice? iow, what are the full implications of this quote for the practitioner? It would be interesting to consult other translations and commentaries, but maybe someone has already done this.

This reminds me of the sense that, in some traditions, certain over-arching practices satisfy all practice commitments (e.g, Guru Yoga). But maybe Gompopa is getting at something else.

Maybe we need to ask why Gampopa would say this. Why write that mantra recitation (vocalizing sacred formulae--a physical act) "is complete" in (for lack of a better term) an informed mental attitude?

What's the larger context in the text itself and in the Kagyu tradition?
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Re: Single Self-Sufficient Path

Postby conebeckham » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:29 pm

A good question, when one is seeking to understand what Gampopa is saying, is "what is 'the meaning of emptiness' that dwells within the mind?"

He is not merely talking about a non-affirming negation, lack of existence, but is talking about "only the essence, or the mind-as-such," which is really no mind at all--or, better, beyond what we normally call "the mind."
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Re: Single Self-Sufficient Path

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:33 am

Gampopa is talking about Mahamudra. I has been said in Dzogchen all kayas are complete. In Mahamudra all methods are complete. So for Kagyu Mahamudra when you do visualization and recitation you are doing Mahamudra, not that you are joining in the two stages, at the end dissolving and that is Mahamudra. Then as the Single White Remedy everything is included in clarity-emptiness aka nonconceptual wisdom.
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Re: Single Self-Sufficient Path

Postby Andrew108 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:37 am

...''If the meaning of emptiness does not dwell within the mind, we cannot attain liberation by means of the other virtues.
When one is endowed with the meaning of emptiness, there is not a single thing which in not included in this path....'

1.Emptiness does not dwell - this is the meaning.
2. Mind is empty of mind - no within or without.
3. We cannot attain. Liberation is complete.
4. Endowment of a meaning of emptiness means self-liberation.
5.There is not a single thing animate or inanimate that is not included in 'pure presence'.
6. There is no path.

And so on.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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