We achieve a spiritual life once we approach our internal world with a compassion, attention, and patience like a woman that daily, and nightly, tends to her plants. The anthophile, or lover of plants, may be said, broadly, then, to be someone that has developed a sense of the nature of reality; someone that understands cutting parts of the plants is not important so long as it assist the whole. We become, simultaneously, the gardener and the plant following the whispers that lead us to our destiny. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, On Emotions, teaches us to understand why and how an experience is occurring, and recognize its mental, physical, and energetic dynamics, then we can reproduce those experiences or alter them.
Allowing us to generate experiences that support our spiritual practice and avoid those that are detrimental. However, our spiritual systems are being propagated by people that exclude the complexity of different racial experiences and socioeconomic positions. The language has to shift. We cannot make money the foundation of our spiritual development, but must learn to connect spirituality to every moment in our lives. Learning to see each moment as our destiny. The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep focuses on teaching us a old art in a new language, and how to achieve liberation through releasing our grasp and aversion to our emotions saying:
The best response to negative emotion is to allow it to self-liberate. By remaining in non-dual awareness, free of grasping and aversion. If we can do this, the emotion passes through us. Like a bird flying through space; no trace of its passage remains. The emotion arises and then spontaneously dissolves into emptiness.
The goal of the path is complete liberation from all conditioning. This does not mean that, once one is liberated, positive traits such as compassion are not present. They are. But when we are no longer driven by karmic tendencies we can see our situation clearly. And respond spontaneously and appropriately, rather than being pushed in one direction or pulled in another. The relative compassion that arises from positive karmic tendencies is very good. But better is the absolute compassion that arises effortlessly and perfectly in the individual liberated from karmic conditioning. It is more spacious and inclusive, more effective, and free of the delusions of dualism.
We gain deeper insight into the people we’ve, often unconsciously, allowed ourselves to become as we walk the path of liberation. Our past does not have to rule over our present, and we create our future through responding presently moment to moment. During my visit to the Vipassana temples I learned, with much practice and attention, that it was possible to blunt the impulses that rule our lives.
I walked up to the temple, surrounded by trees, a large, deep brown building, almost reminding me of pictures of the beginning of a university, the trees curving around the smooth cut mahogany walls that signified a place of instruction, the stone steps led to the entrance, a women, soft spoken and smiling with a comforting peace, took names as we all entered; I learned how to breathe at this temple, for 19 years I never considered the power, and potential, of breathe. I learned to allow the ebb and flow of emotion to move through me, and the language contained in The Tibetan Yoga of Dream and Sleep reminds me of that mahogany building and that woman’s smile:
Although allowing emotion to self-liberate is the best response. Our practice is now, all of us can determine to stop for a moment when emotion arises. Check in with ourselves, and choose to act as skillfully as possible. We can all learn to blunt the force of impulse, of karmic habits. We can use a conceptual process. Reminding ourselves that the emotion we are experiencing is simply the fruition of previous karmic traces.
Then we may be able to relax our identification with the emotion or point of view. And let go of our defensiveness. As the knot of emotion loosens, the identity relaxes and grows more spacious. We can choose a more positive response, planting seeds of positive karma. Again, it is important to do this without repressing emotion. We should relax as we generate compassion. Not rigidly suppress the anger in our body while trying to think good thoughts.
Our spiritual practice must exist in every aspect of our lives. One must not wait until death to experience joy, peace, or compassion, but must live within those vibrations. Many people struggle believing that life can shift, improve, or change. Believing they are trapped forever within the life that they see immediately before them. But we must learn to reach for peace, through reaching inside.
As we practice training ourselves to react more positively to situations. We change our karmic traces and develop qualities that effect positive changes in our lives. As we see more clearly that every experience, however small and private, has a result. We can use this understanding to change our lives and our dreams.
The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep teaches us to take our spiritual practice to every part of our lives. This is a book for practitioners committed to their practice. Yearning for a life entirely gulped around spirituality. There is so much attempting to separate us from ourselves. So why should we not have the same devotion towards our freedom. Continue reading The Tibetan Yoga Of Dreams and Sleep on Karma.