Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Essence Of Great Perfection (大圆满精要)

Both mahamudra (大手印) and great perfection belong to the 4th empowerment of Tibetan Buddhism. If we were to compare, the practice of great perfection would be one step higher than mahamudra because it is touted as ‘the pinnacle of Tibetan Buddhism’. Actually, both mahamudra and great perfection are teachings originated from India but flourish in Tibet just to point out historical fact.

Some gurus treat mahamudra and great perfection as the same and in my opinion; they are not so correct because both of the training system are different as their end results are different. If you still remember the Tibetan Book Of The Dead, then the aim of mahamudra is to attain enlightenment during the dying process. On the other hand, the aim of great perfection is to achieve enlightenment before the end of this life if possible.

Some Chinese scholars also like to compare Zen with great perfection; and they too were just as wrong too. For the practice of great perfection is based on systematic stages of exercises that stretch a practitioner’s body, mind and spirit. Zen practice on the other hand depends very much on the intellect of a student. And it is exceedingly difficult to grasp the gist of Zen compared to the more systematic great perfection training.

In order to understand great perfection, there are two essential theoretical points one must remember:

·         The nature of our mind is luminous. It is our ignorance that has masked out the Buddha within us.
·         The nature of our mind is empty, so is the nature of outside world. This is known as borderless emptiness.

Having understood the above, we now must understand the nature of our mind. Our mind likes to cling on worldly matters that interest us and our mind is creative. It is the creation and destruction of thoughts that have made our world ever changing. So as to let our mind rest in Dharmadatu, we must:

·         Let our mind rest from creation and destruction of thoughts
·         Let our mind rest from meditation (meditation makes our mind dull)
·         Let our mind rest from clinging on illusive world

Great perfection understands the nature of our mind is not stagnant, so in order to counteract our changing mind and not to kill creativity, the concept of Trikaya or three bodies are developed:

·         The peaceful state (such as in peaceful sea)
·         The enjoyment state (wavy sea)
·         The transformation state (the evaporation of sea water and rain fall)

In short, the practice of great perfection is all about our mind as the saying goes:

One neither engage in practices, nor put it in order; just not scattering.

To sum up, great perfection not only comprises of views () but also physical training () to purify our body, mind and speech. A practitioner of great perfection should stop mantra recitation and visualizations which are only illusion generating activities of lower yoga practices.

There are many types of supplementary trainings to make our body relax and to unlock our energy channels such as yoga postures. The all famous white yoga is meant to use sun light to clear our energy channels so that the mandala of 100 deities of intermediate state can present at once in the space in front of us. Once the mandala of 100 deities are seen, then the practitioner can proceed to practise the black yoga will transform a practitioner’s body into rainbow body.

All of the materials can be found in most major languages in our bookshop, so it is not a taboo to describe this practice openly. The question remains whether a person can put this precious teaching into practice as it is almost impossible to get an accomplish master these days.

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