So, I was reading "Rainbow Painting" by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and he suddenly brings up a point he says he hates to tell us, but it's true: a Vajrayana practitioner is like a snake in a tube; he can either go up or down, not left or right. He goes on to explain that the powerful blessing of Vajrayana carries with it some powerful consequences if samaya is not maintained. He says if broken samaya is not repaired within 3 years, then there's nothing that can be done and you are destined for a lower rebirth.
I found this quite shocking and disappointing. So, I did some Googling and found a list of samaya from rigpa wiki, printed it out and took a good look at it. Really, there's nothing on that list that should be too difficult to maintain. The problem is, I'm pretty sure I've already gone more than 3 years without repairing my broken samaya.
I don't know what to believe/follow at the moment. I am a student of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's. I've emailed him occasionally about some problems and, when I thought they were big deals, he would respond with something very comforting:
"You don't worry. You do your best."
And he didn't say much more than that! I found it slightly perplexing at first because I was hoping to get some really specific advice I suppose about how to fix my mind/attitudes/whatever, but after some thought I came to find it very comforting, like I said. It also kind of made me feel
like I was blowing everything out of proportion.
Well, I don't know if I was blowing everything out of proportion. I was having issues stemming from alcohol use and I am still working on this today. In fact, this is the main samaya I've broken, along with probably causing problems among my vajra brothers and sisters (although this was very early on and hopefully I fixed that with one of the ganapujas I attended).
And then I stumbled on a video of Namkhai Norbu from an outtake of My Reincarnation and he said (paraphrasing): "Some say if you get drunk, you go to hell because you have broken samaya. [ChNN laughs]... But, if you drink with awareness, you haven't broken samaya." (If someone knows the actual quote, please correct me. I know that's not quite right, but it's something like that.) This got me to thinking... well, I certainly have gotten drunk and lost awareness, so I can't lie to myself and pretend I drank like a mahasiddha or something... Then, I thought of something else: while Namkhai Norbu's advice to me was seemingly very simple and comforting, perhaps it was much deeper than I had realized.
Here is how I interpret his words now, many years after the fact:
"You don't worry" = worrying accomplishes nothing. Relax.
"You do your best" = you really
do your best
This is not just like a father giving his son a pep talk before a little league game, which is kind of how it seemed before. His advice was simple and direct, but I think I took it the wrong way before. True, I was adding to my problems by worrying about them, but I never really did my best trying to conquer these problems.
Over the years, I've taken solace in the fact that we're only human and I see a lecture where some lama will admit to still getting angry at times, etc. so I try not to beat myself up over my failings, but last night I got freaking DRUNK as hell and ended up doing some very unsavory things. I had vowed not to drink and then my boss took me out. It really sucked because on top of ruining my diet, breaking samaya and spending a crapload of money, I acted unmindfully and created some negative karma, broke the hell out of my samaya and destroyed my peace of mind for at least the next few days. The only good thing that came of it is that the night has made a powerful impression on me and I believe I now (finally) have a realistic fear of alchol. I am determined to quit except at ganapuja. I have no idea how to drink mindfully.
Are there any at-home ways I can repair my samaya truly and reliably? Also, does anyone know of a mantra or practice that will really help with addictive tendencies? I don't think of myself as an alcoholic, but it's pretty ridiculous that I keep vowing to quit and then end up going off the rails on a crazy train a week or two later. Definitely have a problem about maintaining awareness after 1 drink. It simply seems impossible to remember not to get drunk once my judgement has been impared by that first drink or two. I always start out thinking I've got it under control and next thing I know, I'm bombed. So, anyway, I'm vowing not to touch it and I'm looking for some supportive practice (if there is anything) that might help me to not be tempted to have that first drink.
I know... guru yoga, right? I don't think I'm as good at that as many of you, so that's why I was looking for a mantra or something. I figured anything might work (like Sinhamukha, Tara, Vajra Breathing, etc.) but if there's something specific for addictive patterns, even better. Since I already do the other stuff and here I am...
Also, what are your thoughts on this Vajra Hell?
Thanks. BTW, this is my first post. Delightful, eh?
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron