Friday, January 9, 2009

The Wheel of Analytical Meditation

The cause of confusion and frustration in life
Is the virulent passion of the mind.
Distortion and dispersion, the causes of passion,
Must be replaced by incisive attentiveness.
Method of Meditation
Imagining an image before one
Of whatever is desired most
And distinguishing the five groupings of elements
Begin to analyse the imaginary body.
Flesh, blood, bones, marrow, fat and limbs,
Sense organs, internal organs and cavities,
Faeces, urine, worms, hair and nails --
Distinguish the foul parts of the body.
Categorise and classify these parts
By composition and sensory field.
Then divide and analyse them
To irreducible particles.
Looking for arising desire for any part,
See this 'body' as nothing but foul fragments.
Remember it as a dirty machine or frothing scum,
Or a heap of sticks, stones and pus.
When this flow of insight ceases,
Examine the nature, the composite complexity,
Of feeling and conceptualisation,
Reaction associations and consciousness.
Seeing the image as a bubble or mirage.
A banana tree or magical illusion,
There will be no desire for it.
So let the stream of insight flow until it vanishes.
Do not attempt to prolong the glow
But proceed and examine another image
So that all corrupted perceptions
Are seen as unfounded fabrications.
Watching these baseless fabrications,
Seeing insubstantial phenomena arise
Only to dissolve in an instant,
Is the right way of contemplation.
Aware that all worlds of the past have perished
And deducing the inevitable decay
Of the worlds of the present and future,
Discover the cause of suffering in conditioned existence.
Knowing that all creatures are born to die
Suddenly and alone
And that all forms of life go through changes,
Look at the transience of the fabric of existence.
In short, whatever forms exist,
Impermanent and transitory,
Are illuminated in contemplation
By the power of each mind.
As each synthetic desire-image arises,
Shimmering like a bubble, cloud or lightning flash
Let the stream of insight flow
Enlightening until it vanishes.
Then, in the complex multiplicity of becoming
Watch each momentary state of the flux
For the nature of inherent suffering
And the illusive pleasure that will surely
Become subsequent suffering.
Contemplate to capacity
All the pain of the human condition,
The bodymind contrivance as the basis of it all.
Through this intrinsic defect of bodymind
Not even so much as a needlepoint
Of its alloyed fabric is free
From the taint of suffering.
So it is called the origin of suffering,
A foul sewer, a fiery pit
Or a cannibal island.
Retain this realisation until it fades.
With final insight into suffering
Search in this complex, transient heap
For whatever is thought to be I,
Seeing it to be empty of self.
Like a waterfall or shower of rain
Or like an empty house,
Let the state of certainty
Stay until it vanishes.
When this realisation fades,
Examine methodically as before.
Watch a suitable diversity of images
Sometimes ignoring the precedent order.
Searching for the meaning again and again
Sometimes look at others' constitutions
Sometimes investigate one's own contrivance
And sometimes examine all of conditioned existence.
So all attachment is broken. In brief,
Rejecting all thought but this fourfold examining --
Diversity, transience, pain and Emptiness --
Constantly turn this wheel of meditation.
Directing the clear light of understanding
Upon every kind of distorted image,
The unbroken stream
Of Practice increases
Like a raging prairie fire.
Throughout all previous lives, the 'I',
Distorting, obscuring and scattering,
Created a stream of daydreams and mistakes.
Composure must replace that delusion.
When scattered energy has been consumed,
And the antidote, examining mind, is still,
When no obstruction arises in mind,
Relax in equilibrium.
With the revival of mental activity
Continue analysis as before.
Always keep presence of mind
And mindfulness of the realisation.
When one becomes forgetful
And passion arises,
Take this examining to it
As a sword to an enemy.
Practice of watchful examining,
Like a light in darkness
Destroys the last vestiges
Of injurious passion.
Insofar as imperfection is understood
And conditioned human nature seen as it is,
So the utmost serenity is known
And the sheer purity of the Great Beyond.
Progress Along the Path
Recognising through constant meditation
The complexity and the transience,
The pain and the absence of substance
Of all conditioned existence, own and other's bodyminds,
Mind is imbued with full comprehension
And even without effort,
When vision is phantasmal,
The head of passion is subdued.
Free from the breakers of passion,
The ocean of mind is unruffled and clear.
Attuned to self-possessed purity,
Concentration in peace and calm are gained.
One-pointed absorption in mind
Diffuses in piercing insight.
This is the way of initiation,
The common door to the three careers.
Significance of Achievement
Arising in mutual dependence, seen as magical illusion,
All things are primordially unborn,
Essentially Empty, with no substantial base,
Free from the extreme of the one or the many.
With realisation of indivisible space,
All things identified, the Womb of Buddha Bliss,
Beyond confusing existence and peaceful cessation,
All pervasive is the Great Transcendence of Suffering.
Supremely pure and blissful,
It is called the Great Unconditioned.
Here, the attribute of the Great Self
Is unsurpassed and transcendent.
In the Tantras, Ati, Anu and Mahayoga,
Great Bliss and Pure Space come together
In spontaneity of simple understanding,
Thereupon, completing the path.
Following the instruction of a Buddha Lama,
Practice the initial purification of the common path
Of both Sutra and Mantra Mahayana
In the tradition of Direct Revelation of the Great Perfection.
Withdraw from the bewilderment of conditioning
On this excellent path of mindfulness
First by virtue of examination
Passionate reactions no longer occur.
Then with certainty in the Emptiness of bodymind,
All desire for the three worlds is destroyed.
Gradually all trace of delusion
Vanishes into the relief of Emptiness
And dispensing with the antidote of rejection,
All 'I' and 'mine' is finally destroyed.
Clinging to nothing, but aspiring to compassion,
Like a bird in the sky of simplicity,
Gliding through life without fear,
The Buddha-son reaches the highest plane.
In the teaching of the Noble Tradition
This purification by mindfulness,
Preparation of calm and clarity,
Has crucial stress in the three careers.
In continuous practice of inspecting mind,
Purifying through examination,
And finding the smallest of obstacles,
The slightest trace of passion,
Scrutiny facilitates serenity.
Just as gold when purified by fire
Becomes malleable, soft and pliant,
So mind, freed from desire, is made responsive
In the Sutras it is said that
Ritual offering to the Triple Gem
For a thousand years of a god,
Is less beneficial than recognition
Of transience, Emptiness, and selflessness
For the instant of a finger snap.
Expressing the fourfold truth of the Mahayana
And explaining the eighty four thousand topics
Are equal in value, said the Buddha.
Meditating upon the meaning of this reaching
Essentially identical to innumerable Sutras,
Then committing oneself to this form of practice,
A vast source of knowledge is easily found
Leading rapidly to liberation.
By virtue of this explanation
And by power of the nectar of detachment
May all beings suffering these painful times
Attain a state of peacefulness.

These verses were written by Mi-pham rNam-par
rGyal-ba in the Iron Hare year [ 189 1 ]
on the eighteenth day of the month of the Pleiades.
May all beings be happy!

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