Teachings of the Masters
These teachings are found at the heart of the practices of the DharmaMind group. Although these offerings are from masters of different traditions, they nevertheless reveal the underlying spirit of the groups traditional training model of silent illumination.
In this short teaching The Essence of Wakefulness by Mipham Rinpoche we are encouraged to become ever more familiar with our innate unfabricated awareness by committing ourselves to coming back and resting in our naturally still nature. With commitment, and in time, our unfabricated awareness will overcome the distraction of conceptual thinking.
This talk Dzogchen in Everyday Life is by Dilgo Khyentse Rimpoche. This short but direct teaching of Dzogchen is truly wonderful. Direct Dzogchen practice may well not be possible for most of us right now but this teaching reveals to us the openness of spirit that we need to cultivate and incorporate into our present practice if we are to fulfill the ultimate understanding of reality and release.
The Mirror by the Tibetan master Namkhai Norbu Rimpoche is the next teaching. Here we have a refreshingly straightforward and grounded exposition on the fundamental principles of presence and awareness and how and why we need to practice these essentials if we are to awaken to our intrinsically pure nature. The paragraphs have been created by me to help make the text more easily readable.
The next contribution comes through questions and answers in the shastra The Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening by Chan Master Hui Hai. We are presented with a great deal of information on Mahayana terminology and more importantly the approach (of no approach) to realising our intrinsic pure awareness.
The Four Foundations of Mindfulness by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rimpoche. A Remarkable in-depth teaching on the hidden depths of the basic teaching of insight that leads to our pure intrinsic nature and the birth of the ten stages of enlightenment.
The spirit of straightforward practice and subtle understanding of our pure nature is clearly illustrated in these next three short and profound teachings from Haukuin, Mazu and Bathing a New Born Baby by Thich Nhat Hanh, The Song Of Zazen by Haukuin, and The Teachings of Mazu translated by Thomas Cleary
Affirming Faith in Mind is typically clear and straightforward of Zen teachings. A short classic that opens the way for us to realise the unimaginable mystery of our True-nature, and the foolishness of striving to attain it.
A brief glimpse of the simple yet direct teachings of this great Ch’an Master can be found on this page summarising one of the first great books on Zen Buddhism in the twentieth century, The Zen Teachings of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind translated by John Blofeld. The wisdom of one of the most famous of all masters (Jap.Obaku) can be read here touching upon the major features of practice and realisation crucial for authentic awakening.
Although not regarded as a traditional teacher I am nevertheless including a teaching from Reginald Ray and his Three Articles on the Body, because I feel this subject is of supreme importance for Western practitioners of the Dharma to read and absorb. The author reminds us that it is impossible to truly enter the transforming process promised in Buddhism without integrating mind and body. To learn to take the practice into the body and not to the head, as us Westerners invariably do, is not an option on the path. There is nothing of this fact in the ancient scriptures because it was taken for granted that people of those times lived life from their body anyway, so there was no need to remind them of this essential part of training. For us Westerners we are completely the other way around. Living in our heads, and ignoring the very place where our liberation is to be found – in the body.